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Bihar: EC orders probe into distribution of red cards
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 25, 2005 14:14 IST
The Election Commission has ordered a probe into the alleged distribution of red cards on the eve of elections to nearly 15,000 people living below the poverty line in Ekchari-Bholsar panchayat in Kahalgaon assembly constituency.
Complaints name Bihar Congress president and candidate Sadanand Singh.
Red cards entitle the rural poor to highly subsidised supplies of wheat and rice.
The Election Commission special advisor K J Rao, during his visit on Tuesday, said that he had enquired about the matter from concerned officers and then directed the Electoral Observer to probe the matter thoroughly and submit a detailed report.
It was repoted by local Hindi newspapers that red cards were distributed among the poor to woo them to vote for Singh.
Janata Dal (United) candidate from Kahalgoan, Ajay Mandal, had alleged that the Block Development Officer, in collusion with the panchayat head, distributed the cards on the poll eve to favour a candidate.
Bharatiya Janata Party's leader Ranbir Singh alleged the cards were distributed with the sole objective to help Singh in the second phase of elections, which will be held on Wednesday.
Sources said the block development officer of Kahalgoan informed Rao that he had received about 20,000 red cards for distribution among the eligible persons last year, out of which 15,000 remaining cards were given a fortnight ago.
Some of the beneficiaries, however, received the card only two or three days ago.