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|September 18, 1999||
Officials deny reports of rigging in Farukhabad
Onkar Singhin Farukhabad
The Farukhabad district administration today dismissed as rumours all reports of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party indulging in large-scale rigging in some assembly segments of this Lok Sabha constituency.
Senior officials said adequate security arrangements were made at all polling booths and polling officials have confirmed that no rigging took place anywhere.
Louise Khurshid, wife of Salman Khurshid, president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, is contesting from Farukhabad. When contacted, she said, she expected some rigging to take place in the Mohammadabad assembly constituency. ''I have posted my men there to keep an eye other parties' activities."
Louise Khurshid is facing a stiff challenge from the BJP candidate Ram Verma, Chander Bhushan Singh of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party's Devinder Singh Ganguar.
Spread over an area of 140 km, Farukhabad has 12.47 lakh voters. Dalits constitute over 20 per cent of the total electorate here.
"The BJP candidate has two sitting MLAs supporting him. Similarly, the SP candidate is being backed by three sitting MLAs. I have no such support. I am fighting my battle virtually alone. I am my own financier, own poll manager, own election agent and own publicity in-charge,'' said Louise Khurshid.
The Congress has pinned its hopes on internal clashes in the BJP and the SP. Louise Khurshid is also being helped by the BJP rebel and sitting MP Sakhshi Maharaj, who was denied a ticket by the party this time.
Her supporters maintain that she is going to win against all odds. Their confidence stems out of the fact that Louise Khurshid has over a lakh of captive Muslim vote.
She herself would want it all to end as soon as possible. ''This campaign has left me completely drained. I want to get back home and spend time with my children who have been without me for almost three months now."
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