Misa injured in 'effort to stop rigging'

Misa injured in 'effort to stop rigging'

Bihar strongman Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti suffered minor injuries in a scuffle after she reportedly tried to stop some “upper caste” men from rigging the election in favour of a national party candidate at a remote area in Pataliputra constituency on Thursday.

Misa is making her political debut against Ram Kripal Yadav of the BJP and sitting JD(U) MP Ranjan Prasad Yadav from Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency. The incident took place at booth number 37 of Bikram Assembly segment.

Sources said some women voters complained about a “booth capture” to Misa when she visited the area to take stock of the polling. It is alleged that supporters of a political party had, in collusion with presiding officer Shivpujan Rai, captured the booth, called as “silent rigging”.

When Misa reached the booth, she found the door bolted from inside. She gate-crashed into the booth and a verbal duel took place with the presiding officer who objected to her entry into the prohibited zone and charged her with trespassing. In the scuffle that took place following an altercation with Rai, Misa suffered minor injuries. In the melee, some unidentified persons tried to snatch her mobile phone, too.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that earlier, security personnel deployed at the booth had asked for written permission from the presiding officer to open fire to disperse the miscreants involved in booth capturing. But the permission was not granted by Rai.

Later, when Misa cried foul, the EVM was destroyed allegedly at the behest of the presiding officer and a canard was spread that she herself broke the EVM. “The allegation against Misa is absolutely baseless. Had the EVM not been destroyed by unknown persons, the presiding officer who had allowed silent rigging would have landed into trouble,” said RJD spokesman Manoj Jha.

The Election Commission has, meanwhile, not charged Misa with breaking the EVM, but indicted her for trespass. “A case has been lodged against unidentified miscreants for destroying the EVM at booth no 37 in Bikram,” said sub-divisional officer Rahul Kumar.

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