A Congress delegation comprising state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel and the leader of opposition in Assembly T S Singhdeo submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India in New Delhi, seeking cancellation of the bye-election, said state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi here.

The delegation also sought action against government officials for favouring BJP in the election process.

Antagarh, located in Maoist-affected Kanker district, around 250 km away from Raipur, is having a bye-election as Vikram Usendi, sitting BJP MLA, was elected to Lok Sabha from Kanker.

As many as 14 candidates including Congress's Manturam Pawar and its ‘dummy candidate’ Savita Pawar had filed nomination papers, but now only two candidates remain in the fray for the poll scheduled for September 13, Trivedi said.

"The ruling BJP misused the government machinery including police to pressurise the candidates to withdraw, to ensure a walkover to its candidate, Bhojraj Nag," he alleged.

He contended that though Savita Pawar's nomination was rejected because she had not submitted the B form, as per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, the nomination of a dummy candidate can't be turned down on this basis.

Subsequently, Manturam Pawar and ten others also withdrew their nominations under pressure from the ruling party and local officials, he alleged.

Latest News from State News Desk