Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) met the Election Commission here on Saturday to protest against the constitution of a task force to investigate complaints of irregularities during polling in Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar that went to the polls in the first phase on April 16.

According to the Commission, six two-member teams are to visit Saran, where the two main candidates were Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy, and the naxal-hit constituencies of Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad, Maharjganj, Munger and Jamui. The teams have been asked to submit reports to the EC.

Repolling has already been held in nearly 200 booths of constituencies that went to the polls in Bihar over the first three phases.

The delegation said this is the first time that such a team is being sent by the EC 23 days after polling and several days after repoll.

It feared the Commission was trying to “satisfy” some disgruntled parties aware of their dim prospects in the polls.

The EC should not deviate from Section 58 of the Representation of the People Act that prescribes procedures for a repoll. It would not be advisable to move away from these norms, unless there were special circumstances. A memorandum submitted said “pandering” to demands by parties to the electoral contest would introduce “an element of farce” in the election process. It said “there should be no further repolls” in Bihar.