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Ensure fair counting, NDA tells EC

February 26, 2005 18:01 IST

A National Democratic Alliance delegation on Saturday conveyed its apprehension to the Election Commission that the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal would rig the result of the Bihar assembly election.

The EC assured the delegation the phase-wise results for both Bihar and Jharkhand would be publicly displayed and counter-signed by the returning officer as well as EC observers during Sunday's counting of votes. This is a first.

Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Arun Jaitley said the good work done by the EC to ensure fair elections in the state should not go to waste, as "it is reliably understood that the RJD is making last-minute efforts to save the situation".

The delegation complained the district authorities were under "intense pressure" to ensure the ruling party's victory.

"It therefore becomes all the more necessary that the commission tightens up its procedures with regard to counting such that these pressures on the district authorities do not get manifested during the counting process," a memorandum submitted by the delegation said.

Besides Jaitley, the delegation comprised Janata Dal-United leaders Sharad Yadav, Nitish Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP.

The delegation requested proper deployment of central paramilitary forces inside and outside the counting centres to prevent the presence of antisocial elements.

It also requested the EC to appoint a senior or special observer for each constituency so that differences could be resolved on the spot.

Jaitley said the EC heard their demands and promised to take necessary steps, including the deployment of Central forces.

Such checks and balances were necessary to ensure there was no scope of any manipulation as had been witnessed in the past, Kumar claimed. Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2005

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