Parties allege rigging in Jammu, demand repolling
24 February 2002
The Times of India
JAMMU: BJP, Congress and Peoples Democratic Party have demanded that polling for the bye-elections to the Jammu Parliamentary constituency be held again and have called for a bandh on Monday to protest the alleged largescale rigging during the entire election process here.The counting of votes was stopped after midnight on Sunday when these party candidates and two independents walked out of the counting centres along with their supporters alleging rigging. BJP''s Nirmal Singh was ahead by 1,875 votes against his nearest rival Madan Lal Sharma of Congress when the counting stopped last night. Counting would resume on Monday.Singh, Sharma, PDP''s Tasaduk Hussain and independents Tahir Nassen and Jagdish Raj, told reporters separately that they had informed the Election Commission about the ''rigging'' and demanded that polling be held again.''National Conference did large scale rigging'', Singh said adding ''its such policies have made situation worse in Kashmir and now it was trying to do so in Jammu but we will no allow them to do so''.Sharma alleged some ballot boxes were exchanged while they were being taken to the counting centers.Hussain said PDP had sent a list of polling stations where it had apprehended trouble and alleged that the EC did not pay heed to it.Meanwhile shops and business establishments in most areas here remained closed and only skeleton traffic was plying on the roads in response to the bandh call.