UDP alleges Cong workers splurging money in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 26 (UNI) The United Democratic Party (UDP) today accused the Congress of influencing voters by distributing money in two Assembly constituencies of Meghalaya.

According to UDP Spokesman Bindo M Lanong, Congress workers were splurging money in Mawblei and Madanriting areas which falls under Malki-Nongthymmai and Mawkhar Assembly constituncies.

Both the seats are represented by the Congress.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Lanong said the Congress' tactics of splurging money have shrunken its presence in many states. They lost their bastion and now with their dirty games the Congress will be wiped out from Meghalaya too, he said.

UDP's allegations assumed significance in the backdrop of election officials recovering Rs 23.80 lakh in the hotel room of AICC secretary Capt (retd) Praveen Davar and AICC cashier Vijay Malhotra during a search operation after receiving a complaint that the Congress was distributing money to woo voters.

This act of the Congress is nothing but a sign of desperate attempt to retain power, he said.

The UDP would convene a public meeting on February 28 to form a resolution to move the Election Commission and the state Election department to take serious actions against the Congress, Mr Lanong added.

''We will resolve to move the Commission to take up serious probe. However, if they fail to take action within a reasonable time we will consider going by a legal course of action,'' the UDP leader said.

Yesterday, BJP also asked the Election Commission to initiate an investigation into the Rs 23. 80 lakh, recovered from the hotel room of the two AICC leaders in Meghalaya.

The saffron party also demanded for more deployment of central para-military force and enhance its monitoring of the expenditure of the Congress to ensure 'free and fair' March 3 Assembly elections in the state.

The recovery of Rs 23.80 lakhs is an indication that the Congress will be using ''all powers including money power, distribution of liquor, gift items to influence voters,'' BJP state President HS Syiemlieh said.

AICC general secretary Margaret Alva, however, said the money was meant to be given to four Congress candidates for their election expenditure. She told reporters that each candidate was entitled to spend Rs five lakh which was well within the ceiling given by the Election Commission.

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