Model code thrown to the winds
THE STATE Election Commission (SEC) has directed the district magistrate to take stringent action against those who will violate the model code of conduct.
But the administration has shown leniency to the MLAs belonging to various political parties, including a State minister.
According to the model code, one cannot campaign once the electioneering is officially over.
Besides, the elected representatives of the people should remain outside the district till the polling process is over. The SEC issued the order on October 25.
However, the elected representatives of the people stayed in the district and appealed to the voters seeking votes for the party’s mayoral candidate even after the electioneering concluded yesterday.
The MLAs and the minister concerned visited door-to-door urging the voters to vote for their respective party candidates.
SP divisional in-charge Rakesh Singh Rana, State Minister Jaiprakash Yadav, party MLC Ganesh Shanker Pandey, State Minister Rambhual Nishad, party MLA Kamlesh Paswan and Jitendra Kumar alias Pappu Jaiswal and others appealed to vote in favour of the party’s mayoral candidate Sitaram Jaiswal.
Similarly, BJP MP Pankaj Chaudhary, MLC Dr YD Singh, former MLC Sudama Singh organised press conferences and appealed to the people to ensure the victory of the party candidate for mayoral post Anju Chaudhary.
When the reporters asked about the violation of model code, the BJP and SP MLAs said the administration and the SEC did not inform them about the order properly. SP MLC Rakesh Singh Rana said he belonged to other district. Being party incharge of Gorakhpur region he was staying here. Party MLC Ganesh Shanker Pandey, former MLC Devendra Pratap Singh and state minister Jaiprakash Yadav said they did not any information about the SEC order.
State Minister Jaiprakash Yadav said people would give a befitting reply to the saffron forces who were “hampering development of the district”.
Talking to mediapersons, Yadav said he would abide by the State Election Commission directive, but he had no information that elected people’s representatives were supposed to leave the city on October 29.
He asserted Gorakhpur was his native district. State minister Rambhual Nishad predicted the SP candidate would be elected mayor and this would pave the way for development of the city. Party MLA and former State minister Jitendra Kumar alias Pappu Jaiswal said the city would be exempted from power rostering at night, if the SP candidate won the mayoral post.
Samajwadi Party MLC Ganesh Shanker Pandey claimed there was an undercurrent in favour of the party.
He also claimed that public meetings of BJP leaders Shatrughan Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi failed to attract the people.
He said over the past 15 years, the BJP was representing the district in Parliament, but Gorakhpur still remained backward.
Meanwhile, district magistrate and returning officer Dr Hariom said if the administration would receive any complaint regarding violation of the model code, he would inform about it to the SEC.
There are many complaints of irregularities in demarcation of wards and preparation of voters’ lists.
According to new norms, each ward should have at least 7,500 voters. A ward can have a maximum of 10,000 voters. But ward number 8 has only 5,500 voters. Another ward has 4,200 voters. Some have 14,600 voters.
A delegation of the National Loktantrik Party, led by district unit president Ataullah Shahi, handed over a complaint to the district magistrate, pointing out names of 800 voters figured on the lists of two wards. The keen contest between the BJP and the SP has also increased the worries of district administration.
Bharatiya Janata Party activists blocked traffic at Harhawa Phatak in protest against snatching of party candidates’ posters. Police personnel rushed to the spot and pacified the mob. They assured that the miscreants would be arrested.
Earlier, on Sunday, unidentified miscreants attacked the office of the BJP candidate Harikesh Gupta at Mohaddipur crossing. One person sustained injuries in the scuffle.
Meanwhile, leaders of political parties distributed handbills with newspapers to woo voters.
Among those who employed this strategy were NLP candidate Mohammad Islam and BJP candidate Anju Chaudhary.