Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has instructed Congress workers and candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections to report government officials on poll duty who may be acting in a "biased" manner to the state Congress committee. The BJP, however, is not happy with the directive.
"You know that the Lok Sabha elections 2019 are being held in different phases. The Election Commission has directed that the polls be conducted in an impartial manner. Congress workers have worked with diligence and dedication in the last phase of the polls (on April 29). You are asked to submit details such as names, positions and departments of any official or employee found to be careless or biased during poll duty to the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee," a letter dated April 30, signed by Kamal Nath as the state Congress president, read.
The BJP termed this is as a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct. "It is the Election Commission's responsibility to conduct elections in a free-and-fair manner, but the chief minister is trying to pressurise poll officers. The Congress makes a big fuss if (former Chief Minister) Shivraj Singh Chouhan calls up the collector, but Kamal Nath is clearly threatening them. The people will take revenge by polling against the Congress," said BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari.
The Congress, however, maintained that Kamal Nath had done nothing wrong by sending the letter. "The BJP is raising a question, but why? Do they not want the elections to be conducted in a free-and-fair manner? Nobody is being threatened in the letter. He is only seeking details on poll officials who support a particular ideology instead of ensuring free-and-fair elections," said party spokesperson Narendra Saluja.
As many as 23 seats in Madhya Pradesh will vote in the next three phases of the Lok Sabha elections, to be held on May 6, 12 and 19.
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