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BSP accuses poll panel of discrimination

Special Correspondent

Vehicles in the convoy of Congress president Sonia Gandhi went untouched: Nanje Gowda

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

SEEKING FAIR PLAY: BSP leader H.N. Nanje Gowda (centre) with Joint Chief Electoral Officer B.V. Kulkarni (right) after submitting a memorandum to the Election Commission alleging discrimination in the implementation of the model code of conduct, in Bangalore on Thursday.

BANGALORE: The former Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader H.N. Nanje Gowda on Thursday alleged that the Election Commission officials were being partial to the Congress.

Mr. Gowda told presspersons that although Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and the BSP leader Mayawati enjoyed Z plus security, the officials had seized her escort vehicles when she visited Devanahalli in Bangalore Rural district on Monday to address an election rally.

Ms. Mayawati was put to hardship in view of the officials seizing the vehicles. The officials had claimed that the vehicles were used in violation of the model code of conduct, he said.

However, the very officials did not seize a single vehicle when Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed an election rally in K.R. Puram on Wednesday, although several vehicles were in her convoy, Mr. Gowda said.

The BSP would lodge a complaint with Chief Election Commissioner N. Goapalswamy about the partial behaviour of the officials, he said.

Mr. Gowda said Rs. 30 lakh had been spent on organising the public meeting addressed by Ms. Gandhi in K.R. Puram. The BSP would urge the Election Commission to add Rs. 30 lakh to the poll expenditure of Congress candidate from K.R. Puram Assembly Constituency, A. Krishnappa, he said. If the Election Commission pursued the matter seriously,

Mr. Krishnappa could be disqualified from contesting the election. According to the Election Commission guidelines, a candidate should not spend more than Rs. 10 lakh, he said.

Mr. Nanje Gowda said as the BSP candidate from the K.R. Puram constituency, T.J. Abraham, was a strong contender, the “scared” Congress leaders had made Ms. Gandhi to address a rally in K.R. Puram.

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