MP Minister misbehaves with returning officer

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Dewas, MP, Nov 9 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Tukoji Rao Puar allegedly threw papers at a woman Returning Officer (RO) at her local office, while demanding rejection of the nomination of Congress candidate and former minister Sajjan Singh Verma, who is contesting from this district's Sonkach assembly constituency.

RO Sanjana Jain submitted a report along with video footage to the Election Commission of India (ECI) through the medium of District Returning Officer Navneet Kothari.

Official sources said today Mr Puar and Sonkach's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Phool Chand Verma reached Ms Jain's office yesterday after completion of scrutiny.

Ms Jain made it clear that she had reviewed objections against Mr Verma's nomination and ultimately found his papers valid. She added that Mr Verma submitted the B Form in time. At that juncture, the Minister allegedly threw papers.

Mr Verma's polling agent also dispatched a complaint to the ECI alleging that Ministers of the state's ruling BJP were pressurising officials to reject nomination papers. The agent urged the ECI to act against the Minister and BJP candidate.

''I submitted my papers on Thursday and the B Form at 1335 hrs on Friday that was the last day for submitting papers. My nephew Abhay Verma also submitted papers as a dummy at that juncture,'' Mr Verma told UNI over telephone.

Mr Kothari declined comment and state Chief Electoral Officer J S Mathur could not be reached over phone.

UNI PKJ-AC LPB RAI2116

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