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|October 2, 1999||
JD-U asks EC to defer poll in Bihar
The Janata Dal-United has reiterated its demand that the Election Commission postpone tomorrow's election in Bihar unless the state government complied with its order of deploying paramilitary forces at all polling stations.
JD-U spokesperson Mohan Prakash and Samata Party General Secretary Jaya Jaitly told newspersons today that the security arrangements in Madhepura, where Laloo Prasad Yadav was the ruling party candidate, was ''far from adequate.''
The returning officer had told the meeting of political parties this afternoon that except for the Sonbarsa assembly segment in Saharsa district, the Gram Rakshak Dal and Bihar Military Police were deployed in other places. The returning officer had accepted in the presence of central observers that only five of the seven central paramilitary force contingents had reached their destinations.
They said this being the case, it was unlikely that the sensitive booths consisting of Dalits and suppressed sections of the society would get adequate security for casting their votes. Unless there was a compliance report, the polling in such areas should be postponed, they said.
Mohan Prakash pointed out that repolling had to be conducted in over 360 polling booths in 1998. If situations where even ministers were involved in capturing booths were not to happen, there should be adequate forces, he said.
The JD-U was only seeking the compliance of the EC's orders in Bihar and was expecting the JD-U's request for an appointment with the Chief Election Commissioner to come through, he said.
Armed antisocial elements were moving around in at least 50 vehicles having 'press' stickers and there was no checking by the authorities, he added.
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