EC failed to stop rigging, violence: Modi

Asansol (West Bengal), May 4 (IANS): Accusing the EC of failing to prevent rigging and violence in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, BJP leader Narendra Modi Sunday said the poll panel should not work on the basis of “which government has appointed it”.
“I am making a serious complaint against the Election Commission publicly from Asansol… If the commission, in its role of an umpire, has the guts to conduct free and fair polls in the remaining two phases, it must listen to me carefully.
“The commission has failed to prevent rigging, violence in these areas,” the Gujarat chief minister said while addressing an election meeting here.
“I know there was rampant rigging in the April 30 polls. Will this game continue?” The opposition in Bengal has complained of “massive rigging” by the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress during the April 30 poll in nine Lok Sabha constituencies in the state and demanded repoll at a large number of booths.
However, the commission termed the polls “free, fair and peaceful” and turned down the plea for repoll. The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate also alleged that “false cases” were being slapped against his party’s candidate from Asansol, Babul Supriyo.
“It is the duty of the Election Commission to protect the citizens. I appeal to you to discharge your duties responsibly,” he said.
Modi said he had mentioned some seats in Uttar Pradesh where bogus voting is taking place, but the panel failed to do anything.
“I am saying again in these areas in Bengal, Bihar and eastern UP, the same thing is going to happen. Isn’t it the panel’s responsibility to ensure free polls, sans rigging? Without violence? So much is being spent for the polls….”
Asking the commission what it was up to, Modi said: “The entire machinery is in your hands… you have more power than even the prime minister. Then why aren’t you doing your duties? What is your thinking?”
“Which government has given you appointment, who is your boss… these cannot be the basis for the functioning of the Election Commission.”
Modi said that if the polls were peaceful in Gujarat or Maharashtra, then the credit does not go to the poll panel because that happened on its own.
“But if the polls are peaceful in eastern UP, Bihar and Bengal … if there is no rigging … no violence … no allegation, then the credit goes to the commission.”
Modi said that if the poll panel did not like what he was saying, it was free to slap another case on him, but its representative taping the speech should send it to the election commission promptly.
Snoopgate probe an act of despair: Modi
New Delhi, May 4 (IANS): BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has labelled as an “act of despair” the UPA government’s decision to appoint a sitting judge to probe the so-called snoopgate controversy.
“It is an act of despair by a government which is becoming increasingly certain about its defeat. It is one of those last ditch efforts made by a government which seems increasingly inept at handling its defeat gracefully,” Modi told IANS in an e-mail interview.
The snoopgate controversy broke out in November when two investigating portals reported the alleged tapping of the telephones of a woman architect by Gujarat Police. It was alleged that then state home minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Modi, was involved in tailing the woman on the alleged orders of the Gujarat chief minister.
Reminding the Congress of the saying “one must be humble in victory and gracious in defeat”, Modi said: “Several top leaders in this present (UPA) government did not even choose to contest the elections out of fear of losing.
“The few who have contested are staring at certain defeat. In such a scenario it is highly unbecoming of a lame-duck government to resort to abuse of state power for political ends,” he said in obvious anger.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced Friday that the government would appoint a judge before May 16, the day votes polled in the Lok Sabha election are counted, to head the judicial commission set up to investigate the issue.