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Azad writes to EC about ‘voter intimidation’ attempts by Haryana minister

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Rohtak, May 14: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the Election Commission of India accusing Haryana’s Minister of State for Cooperatives Manish Grover of voter intimidation, two days after the state voted in the sixth phase of general elections.

The Congress has been accusing Grover of forcing his way into polling booths with “50 goons” and intimidating voters—complaints that led election officials to restrict the minister’s movements until voting ended on May 12.

Azad, who is leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and the All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Haryana, has demanded appropriate action, says he was “surprised that despite such misuse of power in order to terrorise the polling process”, no action was taken.

 

His letter reads: “I was completely shocked to hear the set of circumstances enumerated before me by a delegation (of District Congress Committee, Rohtak). I have seen the videos shown to me by the delegation, I was completely taken aback by brazen misuse of muscle power by Shri Manish Grover, Minister of State, Government of Haryana, along with fifty goons and a history-sheeter namely Ramesh Lohar, in 10 cars who were carrying arms, two fake number-plates, 15 cartridges of .32 bore entered in booth numbers 142, 143, 145, 146, 149 and 150 of Rohtak city in 7-Rohtak Parliamentary Constituency along with official police commandos in order to sabotage and influence the ongoing polling for Parliamentary elections in Rohtak city”.

He also points out that the Haryana additional director-general of police tweeted about the incident.

Here is the full text of his letter.

“A delegation of local leaders from the District Congress Committee Rohtak met me today evening as I was busy in campaigning for Parliamentary Electionsin Uttar Pradesh (Eastern) and returned to New Delhi only in the evening today. I am the General Secretary in charge of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee.

I was completely shocked to hear the set of circumstances enumerated before me by the delegation. l have seen the videos shown to me by the delegation, l was completely taken aback by the brazen misuse of muscle power by Shri Manish Grover, Minister of State Government of Haryana, along with fifty goons and a history sheeter namely Ramesh Lohar, in 10 cars who were carrying Arms, 2 fake number plates, 15 cartridges of .32 bore entered in Booth no. 142, 143, 145, 146, 149, 150 of Rohtak City in 7-Rohtak Parliamentary Constituency along with the official Police Commandos in order to sabotage and influence the ongoing polling for Parliamentary Elections in Rohtak City. The Additional Director General of Police, Haryana tweeted about the same from his official twitter account. A copy of the same is enclosed with this memorandum.

Several complaints have been already made to ECl along with videos, bringing to your kind notice the terror atmosphere created during the ongoing polling on 12.5.2019. A complete set of complaints made by the election agent of Shri Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress Candidate along with a USB drive containing the videos of the incident are enclosed for your kind perusal.

An FIR was registered vide no. 0287 of 2019 Police station Shivaji Colony. Rohtak. against Ramesh Lohar along with one other under sections 25,5459 of. the Arms Act 1959 and sections 34, 188, 420, 483 of lPC. Ramesh Lohar was arrested from the spot on 12.05.2019 from the place of occurrence itself, but was surprisingly and shockingly released on 13.05.2019 by granting him police bail under the influence of the present incumbent BIP Govt of Haryana without even producing him in the court .

It is also surprising that even after such a brazen misuse of power in order to terrorize the whole polling process of election by entering the polling booth with fifty armed goons, no action till date has been taken against Sh. Manish Grover as a result of which it has sent a wrong signal to the voters of Haryana.

In view of the above, I hereby request with all humility at my command that incase no action is taken against such acts against the Minister of State, it will be a murder of democracy. The exemplary situation requires stringent action by CEC.

Alleged ‘booth-capturing’ by Haryana Minister of State for Cooperatives Manish Grover along with musclemen at Rohtak on polling day snowballs into a major row, with AICC general secretary and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad writing to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, demanding stringent action against Minister Grover.”


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Crime Branch questions former PDP minister Naeem Akhtar

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch has questioned PDP leader Naeem Akhtar over alleged irregularities committed during his tenure as public works minister in allotment of contracts for the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), officials said on Sunday.

The former minister has, however, denied any wrongdoing and said he has cooperated with police officials.

“I am sure that truth will prevail. I have done nothing wrong and all due processes were followed,” Akhtar told PTI in Srinagar.

 

The officials said Akhtar was questioned at his residence about giving out work at JKPCC to a specific set of contractors and making some appointments without following the due process.

The questioning revolved around JKPCC work, construction work at the Islamic University in south Kashmir and allotment of work for setting up the AIIMS in south Kashmir, they said.

It is alleged that the contracts were given to such people who had no experience in construction work and had floated companies barely a few days before the tendering process was initiated, the officials said.

The investigation was also into the air-conditioning work of the health department, they said.

“I have answered all the questions and clarified the matter. I am sure that the matter is sorted out. I have full faith in judiciary,” PDP leader Akhtar.

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Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies at 81

Agencies

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NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit died at the age of 81 on Saturday. The veteran Congress leader was not keeping well from some time and died of a prolonged illness.

Former Delhi chief minister was on Friday admitted to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a critical state.

Three-time Delhi chief minister from Congress, Dikshit had cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and had to be immediately put on the ventilator, said Congress sources.

 
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Centre appoints new Governors in 6 states, Anandiben Patel transferred to UP

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New Delhi: The Centre Saturday appointed six new Governors in the states of  Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Nagaland and Tripura.

MP Governor and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel has been transferred as appointed the new as Governor of UP. Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon was also transferred and appointed as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Senior Supreme Court advocate Jagdeep Dhankhar was appointed as the new Governor of West Bengal, replacing Keshari Nath Tripathi. BJP member Ramesh Bais has been appointed as the Governor of Tripura, replacing Kaptan Singh Solanki.

 

BJP MLA Phagu Chauhan has been appointed as the Governor of Bihar while RN Ravi as Governor of Nagaland, replacing Padmanabha Acharya.

“The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices,” said a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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