Former PDP MP among 48 debarred from contesting polls in J&K

Neeraj Rohmetra
Jammu, Mar 21: Forty eight politicians of the State affiliated with several parties have been debarred by Election Commission of India (ECI) from contesting the on-going Parliamentary polls.
Interestingly, the list of disqualified politicians included 36 persons from Jammu region including a former Member of Parliament (MP), while as 12 belonged to Kashmir region.
According to a communiqué issued by Avinash Kumar, Under Secretary ECI,  the politicians have been disqualified under Section 24-E of J&K Representation of the People Act- 1957 for their failure to furnish details of expenditure incurred while contesting Parliamentary and Assembly polls on different occasions earlier.
The maximum number of candidates disqualified from a particularly constituency were 10 and all of them belonged to Suchetgarh constituency. The list also included name of former Member of Parliament of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Tarlok Singh Bajwa, who had also contested Assembly elections. Mr Bajwa had been nominated to Rajya Sabha in November 2002, when PDP-Congress coalition was in power in the State.
Political workers disqualified, who belonged to Jammu region belonged to various constituencies including Nagrota (4), Inderwal (1), Gandhi Nagar (2), Jammu West (6), Bishnah (4), R S Pura(3), Suchetgarh (10), Akhnoor (4) and Chhamb (1). Those belonging to Kashmir province included those from Pattan (2), Hazratbal (6) and Sonawar (4).
Candidates barred from Jammu region included Parvez Iqbal Tak (Inderwal), Subhash Chander, Mohammad Hussain Haji, Najib Ullaha, Vinay Kumar Abrol (from Nagrota); Joginder Singh, Gurdeep Singh Pandey (Gandhi Nagar), Ashok Kumar Gupta, Ravan Kumar Kashyap, Rajneesh Sharma, Randeep Singh Parihar, Kanwarjeet and Naresh Kumar Sharma (Jammu West).
Others included Ashok Kumar Dubey, Banarsi Dass, Romesh Chander, Kartar Chand Verma (Bishnah); Bishamber Dass Gorkha, Tilak Raj, Surjeet Kumar Bhagat ( R S Pura); Ashok Kumar, Anil Sharma, Tarlok Singh Bajwa, Darshan Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Satish Gupta, Krishan Lal, Kundan Lal Sharma, Girdari Lal, Kasturi Singh (Suchetgarh); Prabu Dayal Singh, Prem Singh, Makhan Lal (Akhnoor) and  Biru Mal (all from Chhamb).
From Kashmir Province, the candidates are Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Mohammad Akbar Rather (Pattan); Dilawar Ahmad, Ghulam Hussain Latoo, Gurmeet Singh, Mohammad Jaffar Hajam, Mohammad Qasim Akhoon, Mohd. Yaqoob Dunoo (Hazratbal) and  Abdul Rashid Lone, Gaffar Mir, Mohd. Shafi Mir, Rafi-ud-Din Ahmad (Sonawar).
Earlier, in a bid to ensure free and fair elections and curb the use of money power, the Election Commission in January last year had disqualified as many as 2,171 candidates in the country for failing to furnish details of expenditure incurred while contesting Parliamentary and Assembly polls.
Sources said that the move by the EC is part of the poll body’s measures to bring in financial transparency and propriety in the conduct of elections which forms the larger part of electoral reforms process. There are several other candidates belonging to various States, who have been barred from contesting elections.
While Maharashtra topped the list with 260 disqualified candidates, it is followed by Chhattisgarh with 259 candidates. They are followed by Haryana with 197 candidates, Odisha 188 and Madhya Pradesh 179. Uttar Pradesh has 159 candidates disqualified. Jharkhand has 118 candidates and Tamil Nadu 97.
Among the Parliamentary constituencies, Uttar Pradesh has a maximum of 158 candidates debarred from contesting, while Chhattisgarh has the maximum of 240 debarred candidates when it comes to State Legislative Assemblies.
“While most such candidates are non-serious candidates, some candidates had filed their returns within the stipulated 30-day period but those were not found in proper order and thus stood disqualified”, sources said adding, “the Commission has sent the list of all such barred candidates to Chief Electoral Officers for further sending such names to the respective Returning Officers”. Earlier also, the ECI had disqualified as many as 3,275 contestants in September 2009.