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Bhopal City
Congress submits audio-clip evidence against Madhya Pradesh CM to EC

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Congress on Friday took an audio-clip allegedly of a conversation between chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and a local BJP leader of Garoth assembly seat Rajesh Choudhary to the Election Commission as evidence of violation of model code of conduct.

Garoth assembly seat goes to the bypolls on Saturday and two days before the elections an audio tape went viral in which the chief minister allegedly promises Rajesh Choudhary benefits in exchange for managing the votes of the Porwal community.

A Congress delegation went to the state Election Commission office on Friday morning and submitted a complaint letter addressed to the chief electoral officer. The letter signed by PCC spokesman and election in-charge JP Dhanopia said that chief minister Chouhan, his ministers and BJP workers were consistently violating the model code of conduct in Garoth because no action is being taken against them.

In his letter Dhanopia alleged, "On June 25, chief minister openly lured Rajesh Choudhary who was also one of those considered for the BJP's candidature from the seat. The chief minister said that he could not be given the ticket even though he was equally eligible for candidature." Congress claimed that Chouhan is heard in the audio requesting Choudhary to work in the next three days and get his community to support the BJP.

“In exchange, the chief minister promised to reward Rajesh Choudhary with a bigger post after the elections. The chief minister said that he himself is the person who can reward Choudhary who will not only be prized with a bigger post but will also be honoured,” the Congress' complaint letter said.

Speaking to media later in the afternoon, JP Dhanopia said that the audio-clip is fool-proof evidence of persuasion of a certain community and enticement to garner votes for the BJP and has been done by none other than the chief minister. State Congress president Arun Yadav said that chief minister Chouhan can be charged under section 171 C of the IPC for interfering with free and fair electoral rights. “The Congress party demands that proceedings should be started against the chief minister for inducing and attempting to interfere with the election rights of citizens. He should also resign forthwith,” Arun Yadav said.

The chief electoral officer here said that the Election Commission New Delhi asked for a full report on the audio-clip on Friday. Following this, the state election commission office instructed district collector Mandsaur to send a report on the audio-clip and verify the complaint. The report on the audio-clip has been sent directly by collector Mandsaur to the Election Commission in New Delhi, the state EC office said.