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Ajit Jogi meets CEC, presents his side of the story

October 31, 2003 15:20 IST
Last Updated: October 31, 2003 15:51 IST

Facing several allegations, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi on Friday met Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh to present his side of the story.

Among other things, Jogi has been accused of distributing school bags carrying his picture through official channels and putting up hoardings praising his government at the expense of the exchequer in the midst of an acrimonious election campaign.

At an hour-long meeting with the CEC in Nirvachan Sadan in Delhi, he urged the Election Commission to look into the alleged misuse of official machinery by the Bharatiya Janata Party for electioneering purposes.

Apparently irked over the EC's directive to the state government to remove two district collectors, the chief minister urged the EC to hear both parties before taking any action.

The chief minister said he had been provided with 'Z-plus' security, which necessitated the officials to travel with him. The duo did not participate, directly or indirectly, in any political function, he said.

Refuting another allegation, Jogi said his government had not only stopped distribution of the school bags but also its storage across the state immediately after the Commission's directive.

On complaints about hoardings, Jogi said those put up by the state government had been removed, but the Congress had put up some of its own.

"It has been my purpose to bring to the notice of the Commission, certain glaring incidents of miscarriage of justice. Understandably, this could be due to the gross misrepresentation of facts by the complainants. Such lapses and miscarriage of justice could not have occurred if the Commission had followed the principle of natural justice," he said in a 10-page memorandum to the Commission.

He accused 'the BJP and a few other political parties' of flooding the EC with "frivolous, false and fabricated" complaints alleging misconduct not only by the Congress but also his government. He also accused the BJP of misusing official machinery and media in its campaign for the coming assembly elections.

A large number of Congress workers had gathered outside the Commission shouting slogans in support of the Congress and against the BJP. EC officials had a tough time controlling them as some of them blocked the main entrance for some time.

CEC Lyngdoh is slated to visit the state to access the situation.

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