Cong protests `irregularities’ in Bhopal Panchayat Polls; Digvijaya seen jostling with police

12:24 PM Jul 30, 2022 | PTI |

Congress on Friday alleged “gross irregularities” during the election for president and vice-president of Bhopal Janpad Panchayat as senior party leader Digvijaya Singh and others clashed with police.


A video showing Singh, a former chief minister, in a heated argument with police personnel while allegedly seeking to stop a woman voter from entering the premises of the district Panchayat office here went viral. Singh later claimed that his objection was to BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma entering the premises.

Sharma and Urban Development Minister Bhupendra Singh had accompanied the woman voter. While Congress alleged that the woman was a Congress supporter but the BJP leaders pressurized her, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemned Digvijaya Singh’s behaviour.

Singh claimed in a statement later that as he was objecting to Rameshwar Sharma entering the premises along with the woman voter, the policemen on duty pushed him.I was trying to stop police from pushing me and did not grab the collar of any policeman as alleged by Chief Minister Chouhan, the Congress veteran said.

While Chouhan alleged that he (Singh) pushed the gate of the collector’s office, he never went to the collector’s office during the day, Singh claimed. Congress leader Suresh Pachori, a former Union minister, and party MLAs P C Sharma and Arif Masood were also present when Digvijaya, 75, and a policeman were seen pushing each other.


Later, Congress leaders alleged in a memorandum to the State Election Commission that gross irregularities were carried out by the ruling BJP, local administration and police in the Zila Panchayat polls. Zila Panchayat members were taken to Chief Minister Chouhan’s residence and later to the polling centre in a government vehicle under police protection, Congress alleged.

Ministers Bhupendra Singh and Vishvas Sarang accompanied these voters and this was an attempt to rig the polls, it claimed.

The Congress’ memorandum also alleged that ‘tender votes’ (votes cast by a proxy) were cast in place of zila panchayat members in violation of rules. No action was taken by the authorities despite repeated complaints, hence the polls for Bhopal Zila Panchayat president’s post must be annulled, the opposition party demanded.

State Congress chief Kamal Nath alleged that the BJP won the Zila Panchayat president’s post by indulging in gross irregularities. Hitting back, CM Chouhan said Digvijaya’s behaviour with the policeman did not befit the stature of a former chief minister. Such “arrogant acts” are a reflection of the fact that Congress is losing its base, the CM added.


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