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  5. Ghulam Nabi Azad complains to CEC against Manish Grover for 'intimidating' voters in Rohtak

Ghulam Nabi Azad complains to CEC against Manish Grover for 'intimidating' voters in Rohtak

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the chief election commissioner seeking appropriate action against Haryana minister Manish Grover for allegedly intimidating voters in Rohtak on May 12, a charge which the BJP leader has vehemently denied.

PTI PTI
Chandigarh Published on: May 14, 2019 21:50 IST
Azad said Grover was arrested on May 12, but was
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Azad said Grover was arrested on May 12, but was "shockingly" released the next day.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the chief election commissioner seeking appropriate action against Haryana minister Manish Grover for allegedly intimidating voters in Rohtak on May 12, a charge which the BJP leader has vehemently denied.

Congress' Rohtak candidate Deepender Singh Hooda, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term, Sunday accused Grover, who is BJP's Rohtak MLA, of intimidating voters by forcibly entering some polling booths.

Rohtak along with nine other parliamentary constituencies in Haryana went to polls in the sixth phase of polling on May 12.

In his letter to the chief election commissioner on May 13, Azad, who is Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana, has sought appropriate action against Grover for "illegally sabotaging" the polling.

Azad wrote that a delegation of Congress leaders from Rohtak district had brought the matter to his notice. "I was completely taken aback by the brazen misuse of muscle power by Manish Grover, the Haryana Minister, along with 50 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 polling booth no 142, 143, 145, 146, 149 and 150 Rohtak city along with official police commandos in order to sabotage and influence the polling going on for the parliamentary election in Rohtak city," the letter stated.

"The additional director general of police, Haryana, tweeted about the same from his official Twitter account," the senior Congress leader wrote in the letter.

Referring to Rohtak city, Azad said several complaints have been already made to the Election Commission, bringing to its notice the "atmosphere of terror created during the Sunday's polling".

"A complete set of complaints made by the election agent of Congress candidate Deepender Singh Hooda, along with a USB drive containing the videos of the incident are enclosed for your kind perusal," he said in his letter.

He also referred to an FIR that was registered against Lohar under provisions of the Arms Act.

Azad said Lohar was arrested on May 12, but was "shockingly" released the next day.

"It is also surprising that even after such a brazen misuse of power in order to terrorise the whole polling process of election by entering the polling booth with 50 goons, no action has been taken against Manish Grover as a result of which it has sent a wrong signal to the voters of Haryana. In case no action is taken against such acts against the minister, it will be a murder of democracy. The exemplary situation requires stringent action by CEC," said the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

On Sunday, Deepender Hooda, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had lodged a complaint with Rohtak's deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer in connection with the incident.

However, Grover had termed the allegations baseless. He had alleged that there were complaints against Congress workers of intimidating some voters.

While polling was underway in the state, the Rohtak police had arrested Lohar, along with his accomplice Sunil, in front of a school and seized three fake vehicle number plates, 15 cartridges of 0.32 bore, sticks and lathis.

Three vehicles with temporary numbers were also impounded, police had said. 

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