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Days ahead of the civic polls, the JD(U) today lodged a complaint with the State Election Commission (SEC) alleging that voters hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were being intimidated by members of rival parties.
National General Secretary of the Janata Dal (United) Sanjay Jha shot off a letter to Delhi State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava, and a copy of that has also been sent to City Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik.
"I write this to bring to your notice an unsavoury development and make a related plea in this context. (Purvanchali) Voters have complained to us in private that of late they are being intimidated by volunteers and leaders of rival parties.
"They are being told that their interests are best served by not taking sides with the JD(U), which is a party which shall not have any say in Delhi. Indirectly, they are being asked either to vote for one of the rival parties or abstain from voting," Jha alleged in the letter.
The Nitish Kumar-led party is contesting the high-stakes municipal polls with 98 candidates, and Jha has claimed that the Purvanchali community -- people of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar -- had "switched allegiance" to JD(U) after feeling "disillusioned" with the AAP.
"At Janata Dal (United), we have always felt that the community has been not given its due share despite being politically relevant. One of the reasons we are participating in this MCD elections is because we wish to assert the identity of Purvanchalis," the letter said.
According to Jha, Purvanachalis constitute about 30 per cent of the electorate in the city and the Kumar-led party is banking high on their support in the polls due on April 23.
"We consider it appropriate to bring this to your notice and put in an earnest request to ensure that such kind of intimidation is not allowed, which is nothing less than suffocating democracy. Kindly take appropriate measures to ensure free and fearless elections," Jha further said in the letter.