Taking a dig at the state bureaucracy the State Election Commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh on Wednesday said, "Today bureaucracy has bowed completely before the politicians. That’s why you see many a bureaucrat ready to crawl when asked to bend," he said.
State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to act tough with the officers who have played in the hand of the political bosses during Urban Local Bodies poll.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Singh said SEC would write to the state government to give adverse entry in the service record of the officers who have sent vague report about rigging or tried to hide the facts from SEC.
Both the phase of civic poll including Nagar Palika Parishad and Nagar Nigam was marred with violence. Incidents of group clash, booth capturing, bogus voting, firing and arson were reported in several districts including Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Agra and Varanasi.
While District Magistrates of some districts informed SEC about the violence and rigging during poll, other sat on the report. The SEC came to know about the incidents from the observers or the candidates of the rival political party.
Acting under the pressure of the ruling political party candidate the District Magistrate of Gonda in his report has demanded re-poll at all the polling booths.
State Election Commissioner is not at all amused with the biased reports and has decided to take action against the erring officers. "We are waiting for the reports of observers deputed by SEC before initiating action against the DMs who have sent wrong report," Singh said.
The philosophy of these bureaucrats is simple: "Each one for himself and God for us all," he said.
Reacting over the duel between Raj Bhawan and State Election Commission over disposal of the complaints, Singh said SEC had followed all the requests made by Governor. “On the direction of Raj Bhawan a one member inquiry team was dispatched to Hardoi by SEC to inquire into the poll irregularities”, he said.
“Leaders of various political parties and candidates have submitted memorandum at Raj Bhawan to draw the attention of the Governor toward irregularities in election. Raj Bhawan has forwarded all these memorandums and letters to SEC. We are not only taking notice of these complaints but even acting over 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 urban areas. The action of urban voters throws light on the changing values of the society. They have lost faith in the past and see no hope for future," he said.
"We have only five companies of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) for deployment during poll. If we had got adequate force the incidents of violence and rigging would have been controlled effectively. Unlike the Central Election Commission the State Election Commission is dependent on the resources and police force of the state government to conduct the poll," he rued.