Madhya Pradesh minister arrested for misbehaving with poll official

November 11th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Nov 11 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Tukoji Rao Puar and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate were arrested from Dewas town Tuesday for misbehaving with an election official.Police had Sunday registered a complaint against Puar and BJP candidate Phool Chand Verma for obstructing government work and misbehaving with the official.

Puar allegedly threw papers at Sanjana Jain, the returning officer of the Sonkach constituency in Dewas district, after she turned down his demand to reject the nomination papers of former minister Sajjan Singh Verma, the Congress candidate from the constituency.

Puar reached Jain’s office with Phool Chand Verma after completion of scrutiny Saturday and insisted that Sajjan Singh Verma’s nomination be cancelled as his papers were not in order, police said.

When Jain explained to the minister that she had reviewed the objections raised against Sajjan Singh Verma’s nomination and found his papers valid, Puar allegedly threw papers at her table and used abusive language against her, police said.

After the two left her office, Jain submitted a report along with the video footage of the incident to the Election Commission of India through district returning officer Navneet Kothari.

Kothari, besides forwarding the complaint to the poll panel, also sent a copy to the Dewas police, which then registered a case against the two leaders.

“We got the complaint against Jain Sunday evening and immediately registered a case under Sections 353 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) charging the minister and his associate with obstructing official work and using abusive language against a government official,” Dewas police chief Mayank Jain told IANS over telephone.

“Today afternoon, we have arrested both of them from Gopal Chouraha and produced them in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Jasbir Kaur who sent them to judicial custody till Nov 24,” Jain added.

Elections for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly will be held Nov 27.

The Congress Monday demanded that the poll panel take the “most stringent” action against the minister for displaying “violence and arrogance” towards a female returning official.

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