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Chhattisgarh polls: Baghel govt misusing official machinery claims Union Minister Mandaviya

Raipur: The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday lodged a complaint with the chief electoral officer of Chhattisgarh accusing the Congress government of Bhupesh Baghel of ‘misusing’ official machinery for the Assembly polls.

Talking to reporters outside the CEO’s office, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who is the BJP’s joint in charge for Chhattisgarh polls, said complaints had been received from across the state of government officials ‘harassing’ party workers.

‘Officials at various places are trying to create an atmosphere of fear to influence the elections. Our party workers are being harassed. Vehicles carrying BJP’s publicity material and flags are being unnecessarily stopped. In a democracy, every person can vote for anyone and it is the right of every citizen to campaign for any party,’ said Mandaviya, who led the BJP delegation to the CEO.

‘A political party can put up a flag at anyone’s house with permission of the concerned person. Even BJP workers who have put up party flags in their own homes are being harassed. BJP leaders and workers are being killed. Despite such acts, no action has been taken,’ he added.

Mandaviya alleged the model code of conduct was being violated in constituencies like Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur, adding the BJP presented its views to the Election Commission so that free and fair elections are held in the state.

‘The BJP has so far filed 58 applications with the Election Commission seeking action on different issues. We expect swift action on them,’ said Mandaviya.

The Union minister asked the bureaucracy and officials in the state to follow laid down norms and not work under pressure.

‘If our issues are not addressed, we will approach the Election Commission of India,’ said Mandaviya.

BJP MP Sunil Soni and other party leaders had accompanied him to the CEO’s office.

Polling to the 90-member state Assembly will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17. Votes will be counted on December 3.

(Published 28 October 2023, 14:40 IST)

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