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'Poll officers had casteist agenda'

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May 08, 2005 17:58 IST

A day after L V Saptrishi, special observer for Chapra Lok Sabha seat, alleged that there was no reason for countermanding the polls in the consitutency, he changed his line of attack and said that the decision for deciding such matters lay solely with the commission.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday he said that he was shocked by the casteist tone of B B Tandon, who is due to takeover as the next CEC from T S Krishna Murthy, and N Gopalaswamy.

Chapra order is above board: CEC

"I am not questioning the authority of the EC. I was shocked to hear the casteist comments made by Tandon and Gopalaswamy. When I was summoned by the full commission on May 13, 2004 on my report, Tandon said that all Yadavs are the same. Gopalaswamy said that the commission would teach a lesson to Lalu Yadav. Today they are against Yadavs, tomorrow they would pick some other community. Their anti-secular stand shocked me and what hurt more was the manner in which I was dismissed," he said.

EC-BJP conspired against me: Lalu

Incidentally B B Tandon and N Gopalaswamy were both members of the board that was tasked with listing officers to be raised to the rank of secretary. Saptrishi did not qualify and hence was denied promotion.

"To those who see a motive my answer is -- if that were true then I would have raised this issue on the day the new government took oath. I could have got lucurative post. If a top official of IDBI could be hauled up for castiest comments, why not Tandon or Gopalaswamy. I am prepared to say it on oath before any court," he asked.

BJP questions official's motive

T S Krishnamurthy, Chief Election Commissioner, later denied the charge. "I was also there when Saptrishi was called to explain his report. I do not recall the kind of remarks that he claims to have been made by either B B Tandon or Gopalaswamy," Krishnamurthy told

Also see:
Bihar Poll Coverage

Onkar Singh in New Delhi