ECI losing credibility, a cause of concern: Harsh Dev

JKNPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh addressing a press conference at Jammu on Tuesday.

JAMMU: Referring to the strictures passed against the Election Commission by the Madras High Court which termed it as the “most irresponsible institution” Harsh Dev Singh Chairman-JKNPP and former Minister said that such comments had triggered a debate across the nation raising serious question-marks over the credibility of the top poll body holding the prime responsibility of safeguarding the democracy and constitutional guarantees.
“It is heartening to note that the High Court not only entertained the petition of an Assembly Election candidate seeking directions to ECI for ensuring fairness of counting of votes by taking effective steps and proper arrangements with Covid-19 protocols but also issued directions castigating the ECI for its role and functioning. The court’s ruling has several connotations wherein it has described the ECI as the “most irresponsible institution”.
It is in fact net result of non cognizance by ECI of various complaints, alleged irregularities, violations of MCC and other corrupt and unfair practices by the influential politicians and ruling parties in the conduct of elections across the nation, observed Singh. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
“It is a matter of grave concern that even the courts have cast such kind of aspersions on the working of ECI with even suggestions of booking its authorities in murder charges. And this is not the first time that the working of the ‘Election Watchdog’ has come under scanner. In the ongoing elections in Bengal, the ECI refused to curtail the period of electioneering and insisted for an eight-phase poll despite demands from various quarters for reduction in campaign period.
And all this was being done apparently at the behest of BJP which had all along favoured a long spell of election campaign period so that all its central leaders besides its allied organizations from various states could campaign in elections in all Assembly constituencies of Bengal”, argued Singh. Not only that even the serious complaints of MCC violations, rigging and other corrupt practices against ruling party leaders were being summarily rejected while victimizing and harassing the opposition parties which had greatly dented the credibility of ECI, rued Singh.
Accusing the newly constituted J&K State Election Commission of summarily dismissing the complaints of NPP during the recently held DDC elections, Mr. Singh said that even the most glaring instances of violation of MCC, abuse of govt machinery and other corrupt practices by BJP leaders were disregarded by the J&K election authorities. He regretted that J&K SEC had even declined to reply to RTI filed by the Panthers Party with no response received despite lapse of statutory period prescribed under the Act. He cautioned to hold dharna and protests outside State Election Commission if the complaints lodged by NPP were not got enquired and replies to its RTIs provided forthwith.
Rajesh Padgotra senior leader JKNPP, Mohinder Singh (District President Samba Urban), Vishab Singh (President Panthers Trade Union Samba) and Mr. Parladh Singh were also present in the press conference.