The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Priyanka knocks on EC door
Priyanka emerges from the Election Commission office in New Delhi on Monday. (AFP)

New Delhi, April 19: The Election Commission today had an unexpected visitor from the Congress.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra knocked on the doors of the Election Commission this afternoon, playing her mother’s emissary. She sought the poll panel’s intervention in ensuring free and fair elections in Rae Bareli, Sonia Gandhi’s constituency.

Rae Bareli goes to polls in the second phase of the elections on April 26. Priyanka, Congress leaders said, has been spending a lot of time in Rae Bareli, managing her mother’s campaign.

Priyanka drove down to Nirvachan Sadan at 3.30 pm, attracting a large fleet of mediapersons who descended on the commission to catch a glimpse of her.

She met chief election commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy and election commissioner . Gopalaswami, drawing their attraction to the criminal activities of Akhilesh Singh, an MLA from Rae Bareli, whose brother is contesting against Sonia on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Priyanka submitted a memorandum signed by Congress district president Uma Shankar Mishra, expressing apprehensions about the viability of free and fair polls when Akhilesh was being allowed to terrorise voters.

Akhilesh, a party hopper, has a string of criminal charges ranging from murder to intimidation against him.

Emerging from the meeting, Priyanka appeared only too willing to speak to the waiting reporters. However, she only managed to get a few audible sentences in when hordes of camerapersons went into a tizzy, jostling with each other to get a better shot of the Congress charmer.

In the midst of the chaos Priyanka swiftly turned back and moved into the car, which zipped out of the commission headquarters.

The Congress memorandum demanded the deployment of revenue staff at polling booths in Rae Bareli for correct identification of voters and that CRPF personnel be posted to ensure that voters feel safe and come to vote.

It also asked the commission to ensure that polling booth staff are employed from outside the constituency and that an ink mark is put on the fingers of the voters after they cast their votes.

The Congress has urged the district administration to instal a video camera in hyper-sensitive booths — 60 have been listed — where special deputy magistrates should be present.

“We would like to bring to your notice that Akhilesh Singh is a known history sheeter — a booth capturer who has been involved in several criminal cases, including that of murder, criminal intimidation, attempt to murder and breach of peace,” the memorandum said.

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