Cong, Akali ‘tip-offs’ keep observers, cops busy
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Moga bypoll Police claims most complaints false, Cong alleges police 'tipping off' Akalis before raids.
A day before the high-stakes Moga bypoll, the Congress and ruling Akali Dal kept election observers and police on toes shooting tip-offs against outsiders holed up in the constituency.
With its leaders and workers perched around towns and villages outside Moga, the Congress has kept a hawk's eye on the constituency and shot the highest number of such complaints.
With its top leadership spread out across major towns — state party chief Capt Amarinder Singh at Jagraon, MLA and poll in-charge Rana Gurjit Singh at Dharamkot and senior leader Jagmeet Brar at Faridkot— the Congress 'war room' remained busy receiving tip-offs through faxes and phone calls from local workers, leaders and "well-wishers" in Moga. The party, in turn, forwarded the complaints to the poll observer.
"We are all getting information from the constituency and passing it on to the poll observer to flush out outsider Akali leaders and workers holed up in Moga. We informed them about some ministers who were still camping in Moga and they have been removed from the area. As for the Congress, we have ensured that all our leaders and workers from outside Moga have left the constituency," Amarinder said.
Meanwhile, after entering each complaint in the logbook, the Election Commission observers dispatched police teams to raid hideouts in villages and wards from where distribution of cash and liquor among voters was reported. However, a majority of these tip-offs were found to be false, claimed poll observer K N Bhatt.
"Our agenda is that there should not appear to be any connivance of the district administration. Both the parties are complaining against each other and we are responding to every complaint received through various channels such as helpline numbers, EC office in Chandigarh and poll observers. We have sent police teams at all locations but a majority of the complaints turned out to be false. It is also difficult to identify whether they are political workers as many outsiders, even NRIs, are here to attend weddings," Bhatt said.
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