With Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas continuing to be on the edge, the Election Commission of India took stock of the security situation and the poll preparedness in the run up to the announcement of the dates of parliamentary elections.
Panthers Party leader and former minister Harshdev Singh on Saturday flayed the Election Commission of India (ECI) and its state units for not conducting elections in J&K which are long overdue. “Working under the tutelage of BJP”, he alleged that the ECE allowed the saffron party to continue its proxy rule in the UT.
He further said that not only was J&K denied the assembly elections for the last five years, since the dissolution of the legislative assembly in 2018, but the local bodies’ elections were also kept in abeyance to allow the BJP the much-needed time to redeem its lost ground.
He called it shocking that the urban local body (ULB) elections were being put on hold by the election authorities acting at the behest of the BJP which did not want elections to be held in the current scenario wherein defeat stares it in the face. Facing public ire for its “multiple betrayals”, the BJP was pressuring EC to postpone the said ULB elections.
Harshdev said not only were the democratic rights of people of J&K subverted under the present ‘rule of whim’ pursued by BJP but the rulings of the Supreme Court regarding periodic elections were also being defied with impunity. Not only that the authorities concerned did not hesitate to mislead the apex court over the issue of elections in J&K.
It was only last month during the hearing on Article 370 that the court had questioned the government’s inaction towards the restoration of the electoral process in J&K and the government had made a categorical statement before the court that the process for ULB polls had already been initiated and that the assembly elections were also round the corner with EC taking a final call over the issue.