Congress seeks removal of ‘pro-RSS/VHP’ poll officers

New Delhi, April 21: The Congress Monday claimed that several election presiding officers in BJP-ruled states are affiliated with tge RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other similar groups that comprise the Sangh Parivar and asked the Election Commission to keep them away from the poll process.

In a letter to the commission, Congress said that “officials belonging to RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal, Ram Sena and other similar organizations holding positions in different capacities in various state governments, particularly states which are ruled by BJP, are being appointed as presiding officers at different polling stations”.

The Congress named Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Goa in the letter.

“Such officials are incapable of conducting impartial and proper poll since they are affiliated to a particular political party having the same background and affiliation.

“Giving such an onerous responsibility to the officers whose mindset is prejudiced and bias, no fair and proper elections can be conducted under their supervision or with their involvement and assistance,” it said.

Claiming photo voter slips are being “manipulated” by BJP with the help of such officials to secure vote in favour of their candidates, and there are reports of manipulation of the EVMs as well, the Congress demanded such officers “should not be posted” at the polling booths, to “prevent tampering of the EVMs and to ensure that the presiding officer act fairly and genuinely”.

IANS