Goa Assembly Election 2017: AAP alleges bias by govt officials; seeks EC intervention

Alleging bias, the AAP on Tuesday approached the Election Commission and sought deterrent action against 'hostile' officials of the Goa government, even as it raised the issue of symbols identical to party's 'broom' being used by some to 'mislead' the people.

PTI January 17, 2017 16:16:21 IST
Goa Assembly Election 2017: AAP alleges bias by govt officials; seeks EC intervention

New Delhi: Alleging bias, the AAP on Tuesday approached the Election Commission and sought deterrent action against "hostile" officials of the Goa government, even as it raised the issue of symbols identical to party's "broom" being used by some to "mislead" the people.

AAP's Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey also accused many officials of working under the "influence" of the ruling BJP.

In a compliant, the AAP has listed out seven instances in the last three months when its volunteers were allegedly threatened and assaulted and yet no action was taken against the culprits. "AAP volunteers are being beaten up. Police stations have threatened our advertising agencies to pull down our advertisements even before the Model Code of Conduct came into force.

Goa Assembly Election 2017 AAP alleges bias by govt officials seeks EC intervention

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File photo. PTI

"Our meetings have been stopped by flying squads even after requisite permission was taken," AAP's national secretary Pankaj Gupta said in his complaint to the ECI.

Of the seven complaints, four have been made against Panaji police station while the rest are against other police stations and officials in the civic administration.

The party said a free and fair election is not possible unless action is taken against these officers. "For the sake of conduct of Goa Assembly Election in an unbiased manner and also for the sake of high ethical standards held by the Election Commission of India, it is imperative that ECI takes some deterrent steps against erring officials to send a signal that any show of bias and favouritism shall not be tolerated by it," Gupta said.

The party also raised the issue of symbols identical to its 'broom', like a battery or a torch and claimed that it is being used in the campaign. Pandey said such identical and "misleading" symbols had eaten into party's votes in the Delhi Assembly polls in 2013 and 2015 and could hurt the party's prospects in the state.

"The torch and the broom symbol are not a part of the free symbols list of the Election Commission. Despite this, an identical battery or torch is used by some candidates during their campaign. This is being done to mislead the people ahead of the polls," Pandey said.

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