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State machinary helping Amit Shah win with highest margin in India: Letter to ECI

By Our Representative 

Human rights defender Shabnam Hashmi, in a representation to Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India (ECI), has alleged that the state machinery of Gujarat is putting “undue pressure” on various community and political leaders in order to ensure that Union Home minister Amit Shah wins the Lok Sabha elections with the highest number of votes in India from the Gandhinagar constituency.
Founder of human rights organisation Anhad, Hashmi said, duing her visit of Ahmedabad from April 14 to April 18, when she interacted with a large number of youth, community and political leaders, including Sonal Patel, the Congress candidate pitted against Amit Shah, she was told that members of the Gujarat police force were cajoling them "to become inactive and not campaign for the Congress candidate."
"Some have been threatened with dire consequences of cases being filed against them or reopening of old cases of petty crime and turning them into big ones", Hashmi claimed, adding, "Those with some standing in the community have been forced to file nominations as independent candidates, or from other opposition parties, especially to cut into the Muslim and Dalit votes."
According to Hashmi, a meeting was held at a top elite club house where with several community leaders were told that Amit Shah is a big national leader, and "his dream is to win the elections with the highest number of votes in India", it added. Among those present included a former and a current BJP MLA, as also police officials.
Hashmi contended, leaders of various cooperative, bodies, including cooperative banks, milk cooperatives, Agriculture Produce Market Committees, purchase unions, etc. were summoned and "instructed to campaign for Amit Shah", with senior officers of these organisations being instructed to "ensure that staff should campaign for him."
The letter has been sent to the ECI amidst apprehensions as to why the Congress has not made any formal complaint with the poll panel
"Congress candidate Sonal Patel’s vehicle was surrounded and stopped by BJP officer bearers in Pethapur on April 8, 2024. She was threatened with dire consequences if she did not leave. This added to the fear and many supporters could not come out for the next day for electoral campaign due to fear", she said in her letter sent on email.
It added, "Students were called in a college and were told that they have viva examination. Once in college, they were told that everyone has to join Amit Shah’s road show. When students objected they were told that they would be failed in the internal examination if they do not go for Amit Shah’s road show. Approximately 700-800 students were forced to attend his road show on April 18."
Stating that Ram Temple photographs are being used in posters for Amit Shah's campaign, Hashmi wondered if the BJP candidate has been given permission by the Election Commission to "use religious symbols on banners and ask vote in the name of religion."
The letter has been sent to the ECI amidst apprehensions as to why the Congress has not made any formal complaint with the top poll panel either in Gandhinagar or in Delhi. A Congress spokesperson told Counterview that the party candidate "has been told to make a representation to the ECI... We will let you know when the complaint has been made."

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