GUWAHATI: Assam Congress today asked the Election Commission to withdraw Election Expenditure Observer Raghavendra Singh from the state for allegedly acting in a “partisan” and “high-handed” manner against a particular political party.
“Singh, accompanied by CRPF and police personnel had surrounded the residence of senior Congress Minister Rakibul Hussain on March 16 without any prior intimation or notice,” APCC Chief Anjan Dutta said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
He alleged Singh had stopped the vehicle of Hussain, who was accompanied by his wife and son, when they were coming out of their residence, refused to divulge his identity and forcefully conducted search of the minister’s personal vehicle and accompanying security escort vehicles.
Later, Singh allowed Hussain and his family members to leave but he along with his team raided and searched the minister’s residence in the absence of any member of the family or third party independent witness which is “absolutely illegal and not permissible under the existing procedure of law,” Dutta said.
The APCC chief also alleged the vehicle in which Singh came had the registration number of a stolen vehicle with an FIR registered with the Basistha police station here.
“The use of such a vehicle by a responsible officer of the Election Commission casts doubt on the search and detention operation of a Cabinet Minister and his family members. It indicates the operation is devoid of credibility and leads to ill motive, bias and illegal action,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention that Hussain has not yet filed his nomination and the action taken by the Election Expenditure Observer is absolutely uncalled for and “seems to be malafide and is definitely designed through him by vested interests,” Dutta said in his letter.
The Congress leader alleged that the presence of an officer like Singh was “detrimental to the interest of conducting a free, fair and peaceful election” and he should be called back and his services as Election Expenditure Observer must be withdrawn with immediate effect.