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BJP accuses CM Rawat of clearing files in violation of poll code

Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi refused to comment saying no formal complaint has been lodged

assembly elections Updated: Feb 27, 2017 20:24 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Harish Rawat said he was still the CM of Uttarakhand and the “Constitution has given me the right to work”. (HT File)

DEHRADUN: BJP Tuesday accused chief minister Harish Rawat of violating poll code by clearing official files. Rawat twice attended his office after February 15 polls --- on February 17 and three days later on February 20. Poll code would remain in effect till March 11.

“The CM is clearing files relating to projects and schemes so as to benefit his supporters. His move is in brazen violation of the poll code,” state BJP president Ajay Bhatt alleged. “The pace at which he is clearing files shows that the CM has foreseen that his party (Congress) is not returning to power.”

Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi refused to comment saying no formal complaint has been lodged. “We can’t take action just on the basis of what is appearing in media,” she said.

Bhatt, however, said, the “poll panel should take suo motu notice of his (CM’s) action” and added that his BJP would soon lodge a complaint.

Earlier, on February 17, Bhatt had accused the CM of clearing files relating to four bottling plants “under the influence of the liquor mafia” besides pattas (lease deeds) permitting mining and license bars.

“BJP leaders want me to stop working as CM. I still am the CM of Uttarakhand and the Constitution has given me the right to work,” Rawat posted on Twitter.

Rawat’s media in-charge brushed aside the BJP’s allegations saying the CM was clearing files relating to ongoing projects only. “I suggest that he (Bhatt) study the constitution first”, he said. “Let him also go through a number of Supreme Court judgments that allow the CM to discharge his duty when the poll code is effective.”

Kumar also alleged that the “baseless charges” being levelled by Bhatt “display his sense of frustration as he seems to have foreseen his party’s (BJP) impending defeat.”

He said the CM would have to discharge his duties even when the poll code was effective because the government had to function and there “can be no vacuum” as far as governance was concerned.

First Published: Feb 21, 2017 20:25 IST