The central election authority of the Congress was forced to stall the process of organisational polls in Madhya Pradesh after the state unit got complaints that some BJP members have become block returning officers (BRO) to conduct polls at the grassroots levels.
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Arun Yadav and leader of opposition Ajay Singh had rushed to New Delhi to inform the party high command about how some senior BJP leaders were trying to rig the elections to get their supporters nominated to PCC and All India Congress Committee (AICC).
Yadav said, “Due to undue interference of some senior leaders in the state, the real and hard working Congress activists are not getting a chance. I want that those who have been working at the grassroots should get a chance. They are our real strength’’.
In a meeting held at state headquarters of Congress on Monday, some Congress leaders brought to the notice of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Arun Yadav that some BJP members and even those accused of rape charges have been declared BRO in the list sent by the central election authority of the Congress. Yadav reportedly spoke to Congress high command and the BRO list was put on hold at the last moment, stalling the organisation poll process.
Congress MLA from Bahoriband Sourabh Singh complained to the central observers Rajkumar Kataria and J.R. Kansana that former Congress leader who switched sides to become minister in BJP, Sanjay Pathak, got the names of his supporters declared as BRO, to keep control over the Congress party in Katni district. Pathak was accused of Rs 500 crore hawala racket in January this year.
According to Congress sources, a senior leader helped the BJP minister to get the names of the latter's supporters declared as BRO.
In Jabalpur, Dinesh Dubey, who switched sides and joined the BJP, was declared as BRO. Similarly, in Ujjain, a leader, resident of the same block was made BRO in the block. MLA Imarti Devi from Dabra in Gwalior district too had similar complaints of BRO appointed at the behest of a powerful BJP minister.
Veteran Congress leader Mahesh Joshi said it is surprising that leaders who got maximum number of new members enrolled to the party have been sidelined and a few powerful leaders got their supporters nominated as poll officers.
In the meeting called to discuss the organisational polls after several leaders lodged complaints about the BROs and their faulty appointments by the central election authority of the Congress, it was decided to stall the process for the time being. It was in the meeting that the list of BROs sent by central authority was read out.
Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh for last 14 years and the anomalies in the appointment of BROs have further demoralised the party workers.