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Observers under observation

Business Standard  |  New Delhi 

Election observers deputed by the Election Commission of India to conduct free and fair elections in Chhattisgarh found themselves under observation by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This was after the state's public works minister Brijmohan Agrawal quipped that the election observers appeared to be acting like players for the Congress rather than as impartial umpires by involving themselves in matters outside their remit. The proximate cause for this allegation was that one of them attended the press conference of a senior BJP leader at the party's state headquarters and took notes of the proceedings, just like a reporter. The observer had attended the press conference to monitor how much the party was spending on refreshments and snacks offered to journalists, and the BJP leaders realised who he was only after he had left.

First Published: Sun, November 24 2013. 21:04 IST