Voting for Mungaoli and Kolaras today was the culmination of a high voltage campaign by both parties that see the bypolls as a precursor to the bigger electoral battle -- assembly elections due later this year.
"There have been FIRs against two BJP MLAs in the past two days. This shows that we are committed to following the model code of conduct. Certainly this action would not bring me any accolades from that party," Ms Singh told NDTV.
On Thursday, a Congress delegation met the election commission, alleging that party candidate from Kolaras, Mahendra Singh Yadav, was injured in police lathicharge when they tried to stop the car of BJP lawmaker from Bhind that allegedly had cash in it. The BJP lodged a counter-case, alleging that Congress workers damaged the lawmaker's car and tried to beat him.
The BJP lawmaker from Sagar was booked for poll code violation on Friday after he was seen in Mungaoli. After campaigning ends, rules bar the entry of elected public representatives from outside till voting concludes.
"Congress has also made complaints. When they feel the report has not gone in their favour, any political party responds in a particular fashion. But by and large both parties know and realise we are impartial, said Ms Singh.
Complaints of poll code violation have been filed against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and some of his ministers.
Accused of indirectly announcing the construction of a bridge at a poll rally in Mungaoli, the election commission advised Mr Chouhan to be "more careful in future while making speeches" when the model code of conduct is in place.
The commission has "censured" Yashodhara Raje for intimidating voters by saying if they vote for the "hand" symbol they may be denied benefits of some government schemes. Responding to the commission's notice, Ms Raje's had said the remarks were made at the home of a private person and not in a public election meeting , so did not amount to violation of the model code. The poll panel said it did not find Ms Raje's reply satisfactory.
Today's bypolls were mostly peaceful, barring sporadic clashes in some booths between the Congress and the BJP. While the turnout is Kolaras was 70%, in Mungaoli it was 77%. Votes will be counted on February 28.
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