STATE ELECTION commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh on Wednesday took a dig at the bureaucracy saying, “today the bureaucrats have bowed completely before the politicians. That’s why you see many a bureaucrat ready to crawl when asked to bend.”
Talking to Hindustan Times, Singh said the State Election Commission (SEC) had decided to take to task those officers who had played in the hand of their political bosses during the urban local bodies poll.
He said the SEC would write to the state government to give adverse entry to the officers who sent vague reports on rigging or tried to hide facts from the SEC.
It may be recalled that both the first and the second phases of the civic poll were marred by incidents of group clash, booth capturing, bogus voting, firing and arson in several districts, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Agra and Varanasi.
While district magistrates of some districts informed the SEC about the violence and rigging during the poll, other sat on their reports. The SEC came to know about the incidents from the observers or the candidates of aggrieved political parties.
On DM Gonda’s report demanding re-poll at all the polling booths reportedly under political pressure from the ruling party, Singh said, “We are waiting for the report of the observers. Action will be taken against all those who sent wrong reports.”
Reacting to the duel between Raj Bhawan and the State Election Commission over disposal of complaints, Singh said the SEC had followed up all the requests made by the governor.
“On the direction of Raj Bhawan, a one-member inquiry team has been
dispatched to Hardoi by the SEC to inquire into poll irregularities,” he added.
“Leaders of various political parties and candidates have submitted memorandum to draw the attention of the governor toward irregularities in the election. The Raj Bhawan has forwarded all these memorandums and letters to the SEC.
We are not only taking notice of these complaints but even acting on them,” Singh said.
In reply to the question over violence during poll and failure of the SEC to control it, Singh said, “violence was manifestation of the turbulence in the society, especially in the urban areas.
The action of urban voters throws light on the changing values of the society. They see no hope for future,” he said.
“We have only five companies of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF).
If we had got adequate force the incidents of violence and rigging would have been controlled effectively.
Unlike the Central Election Commission, the SEC is dependent on the resources and police force of the state government to conduct the poll,” he rued.