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regular-article-logo Monday, 04 March 2024

Congress expresses dismay at Election Commission of India for cancelling scheduled meeting with delegation

First phase of polling in Chhattisgarh will happen on Tuesday and the party is disappointed because its grievance was not heard in time

Sanjay K. Jha New Delhi Published 07.11.23, 05:21 AM
Abhishek Singhvi.

Abhishek Singhvi. File picture

The Congress on Monday expressed dismay at the Election Commission of India for cancelling the scheduled meeting with its delegation that wanted to lodge a complaint against the brazen attempts to disturb the level playing field in Chhattisgarh.

The first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh will happen on Tuesday and the Congress is disappointed because its grievance was not heard in time. The Congress said the attempts to obstruct a free and fair election, to muddy the waters and to paint the chief minister black went unchallenged before the Election Commission because of the cancellation of Monday’s meeting.

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Explaining the turn of events, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said: “We had sought an appointment on November 4. The Election Commission intimated us on November 5 that we will be heard on November 6; that is today. We were prepared to present our case before the commission but we were informed by the commission that they are busy and we will be called on November 8 or 9. The first phase of polling will be over by then.”

Singhvi said the propaganda on Mahadev app was intended to disturb the level playing field because the Congress and the chief minister were defamed on the basis of unsubstantiated leaks by the Enforcement Directorate, which has been acting like a BJP ally.

Rajya Sabha MP from Chhattisgarh Pramod Tewari said: “One person sitting in Dubai (who claimed to be the owner of online betting Mahadev App) releases a video and the BJP and ED issue statements. They are making accusations before the investigation. That’s bad intent.”

He added: “That man ran away to Dubai because chief minister Bhupesh Baghel started action.”

Singhvi said: “The second investigator (ED) promptly branded the first investigator (the state police) as the thief. The case was registered against the Mahadev app in March 2022. Forty-nine FIRs were registered and 400 people were arrested. The chief minister has been demanding the arrest of the owners sitting in Dubai and a ban on the app. Why was the app banned only yesterday? Why were the operators not deported from Dubai?”

Pointing to IT minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar’s statement that the chief minister had not written to his ministry to ban the app, Singhvi said: “The app is under the ED investigation for six months and the government waits till the election to ban it. Does the ED depend on the chief minister to get the app banned?”

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