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EC working at Cong behest, says Maya
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, April 21
Following the Election Commission’s decision to transfer three police officers from Jaunpur, Chief minister Mayawati today lambasted members of the commission for working as agents of the Congress party.

“Their decision to transfer officers in Jaunpur confirms outgoing CEC Gopalaswami’s charge that Naveen Chawla works for the Congress. This was a serious charge levelled against Chawla who should have resigned immediately,” said Mayawati.

“The Congress is openly threatening me with CBI cases. I would not rule out opposition parties trying to forge communal or terrorist violence or even killing me during the campaign,” she feared.

“A dalit ki beti aspiring to be the Prime Minister of the country is not acceptable to them and these parties are causing all sorts of hurdles”, asserted the BSP supremo.

Referring to the recent review meeting conducted by Election Commissioner SY Quraishi in Lucknow, Mayawati wondered why he was in the state every other day intimidating her officers when the first phase of polling had passed off peacefully. “Why doesn’t he go to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa or Maharshtra where there was so much trouble” the Chief Minister questioned.

Without mincing words, she alleged Quraishi of having “interests in UP”. She charged him of being close to a Congress leader.

Mayawati pointed out that an Additional Director General-level officer had camped in Jaunpur for eight days and found IJP candidate Sonkar’s death to be prima facie a case of suicide. “There was no evidence whatsoever suggesting the hand of any political person in the death of Sonkar”.

She charged that the two IAS officers sent by the EC conducted a superficial enquiry in one day on the basis of which these transfers had been made.

Interestingly, she also alleged that the Election Commission had used the pressure tactics against her party in 2007. “At that time also the Congress had misused its power to gain political mileage”.

Despite the state government giving a clean chit to the Jaunpur district administration for the death of Indian Justice Party candidate Bahadur Sonkar, the EC late last night transferred Jaunpur ASP Ramkishore, Circle Officer (City) Upendra Chadhury and in-charge of Line Bazar police station SK Rai.

Just hours before the EC’s decision, the state government had hurriedly called a press conference clearly to preempt this move.

Here it was announced that prima facie the death of IJP candidate Sonkar appeared to be a case of suicide. It had recommended a Crime Branch- Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) enquiry to further look into the matter.

ADG Padman Singh, who had conducted the high-level enquiry in Jaunpur, was present along with DGP Vikram Singh and Principal Secretary Home Manjit Singh. The DGP said Padam Singh’s report had been sent to the Election Commission. “After spending eight days in Jaunpur and reviewing all evidence Padam Singh did not find any concrete evidence of murder nor did he discover anything amiss in the post mortem report” claimed the DGP.

Referring to the repeated threatening calls being made to Sonkar from the mobile of the two junior police personnel who were later dismissed by the EC, the DGP maintained that they were inviting Sonkar for a meeting convened by the Jaunpur District Magistrate on April 9. He had refused to answer any questions on the matter.

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Cong, Lalu relations hit a new low
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The relationship between the Congress and its UPA ally RJD touched a new low today with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee making a statement in Bihar that it would be difficult for Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav even to find a ministerial berth in the “UPA regime” after the Lok Sabha elections.

“Who will form the government? BJP, NDA or the Third Front or Lalu. Leave alone forming the government, Lalu will find it difficult to even become a minister as he is with nobody now (not in any major front),” Mukherjee reportedly said at an election rally in Samastipur, Bihar.

Mukherjee's remarks follow Lalu’s statement that it could not be taken for granted that Manmohan Singh was the UPA government's future prime minister.

That the Congress-RJD ties had gone from bad to worse became even more evident from Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natrajan’s response. “Many statements are made during elections,” she said while commenting on Lalu’s remark on Manmohan Singh being the UPA’s prime ministerial candidate.

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