Congress writes to EC about ‘code violation’ by Haryana Minister

Claims Manish Grover entered polling booths with goons

All-India Congress Committee general secretary and Haryana affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the Election Commission (EC) seeking action against State Minister Manish Grover accusing him of influence the election process.

He alleged the Minister of State for Cooperatives entered at least six booths of Rohtak parliamentary constituency along with armed goons in a brazen display of muscle power to influence the voters.


Saying that inaction against the Minister would amount to “murder of democracy”, Mr. Azad, who is also Rajya Sabha Opposition Leader, said history-sheeter Ramesh Lohar accompanying Mr. Grover along with his henchmen was arrested for various offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, but no action was initiated against the Minister sending “wrong signal to the voters of Haryana”.

He said that he was shocked to see the videos of the incident shown to him by the local Congress leaders and had enclosed the same with his complaint. Mr. Azad said that several complaints were already made to the EC in this connection.

Granted bail

Lohar, a resident of Bohar village, was arrested along with his accomplice Sunil outside Vishwakarma School in Rohtak Assembly constituency on May 12, according to the police. Two fake registration number plates, 15 live cartridges of .32 bore, lathis and three vehicles with temporary numbers were seized from them.

Mr. Azad, in his letter, said that Lohar, though arrested, was not produced before the court and granted bail by the police acting “under the influence of the Haryana BJP government”.

When contacted, Mr. Grover could not be reached for comment.

SP Rohtak Jashandeep Singh Randhawa said that seven persons were arrested in this connection so far and a Special Investigation Team was constituted to look into the matter. On the allegations of Lohar having been released on bail by the police, Mr. Randhawa said he was initially arrested on charges of disobedience to the order promulgated by the public servant, but later more sections were added and was arrested again.

He said that entering the booth was a punishable offence and a complaint against the Minister in this connection was pending before the Returning Officer and the Presiding Officer. Mr. Randhawa said that action would be taken against the Minister as per the law after the report arrives.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:17:02 AM |

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