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Rape victim’s ‘missing act’: Cong demands CEO inquiry

Panaji: Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, on Tuesday, demanded an inquiry by the Chief Electoral Officer into the episode of the girl in the rape case allegedly involving Congress candidate for Panaji bypoll Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, who went missing a week prior to the day of bypoll and was traced a day after the bypoll at a friend’s place in Mapusa.

“It was a conspiracy against our candidate by creating a picture before the Panaji voters that the girl has been abducted by Babush. The CEO ought to probe this missing theory as the incident took place during the ongoing election period,” said Kavlekar while addressing a press conference in Panaji. Claiming that exit polls have time and again proven wrong, the Congress Legislature Party leader urged Election Commission of India to consider banning exit polls.

“Who gives them fake numbers to predict the results prior to counting? This gives scope for the ruling party to manipulate their alliance partners and the parties from the opposition bench.  Isn’t this amounts to a violation of Model Code of Conduct?  The EC needs to relook and impose a ban on exit polls,” he said.

Kavlekar said that the BJP can go to any extent to win the elections including indulging in the tampering of the electronic voting machines.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar said that the Congress party after the bypoll results will march to Raj Bhavan with 21 MLAs to meet the Governor Mridula Sinha and stake claim to form the next government in the state.

He, however, didn’t specify the time and the date when they will go to Raj Bhavan.

The Congress president also didn’t reveal as to whose support they would seek to get to the magical number of 21.

He said that the Governor will not be in a position to give the advantage to BJP, irrespective of what the senior ruling party attempts to do, and added that  the Congress party would adopt the strategy of Karnataka government to restore the mandate given by people in 2017.

“We will use all democratic tools including knocking the doors of the court as our party did in Karnataka,” he said.

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