J&K elections being delayed at BJP’s behest: Harsh Dev

NPP leader Harsh Dev Singh addressing press conference in Jammu.
NPP leader Harsh Dev Singh addressing press conference in Jammu.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 20:  Batting for restoration of autonomous character of ECI, chairman of NPP and former minister Harsh Dev Singh today accused the BJP of interfering in the functioning of top election body of the country to sub-serve its own political ends and motives.
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Addressing a press conference here today, Singh said that it was the writ of the BJP which ran even with regard to matters which fell under the exclusive jurisdiction of the election authority of India. There were numerous instances to show that centre was influencing the decisions of Election Commission to suit its political expediencies. He said that delay and deny over Assembly elections in J&K was the biggest evidence of BJP’s infringement upon the sovereignty and autonomy of the ECI.
Pointing towards the repeated statements by several saffron party leaders suggesting the conduct of Assembly elections in J&K in October-November 2019, Singh said that it seemed that BJP had taken over the decision making powers of the Election Commission. While the timing and schedule of elections fell within the domain of ECI, the BJP seemed to have encroached upon the said powers and was dictating terms to the former, observed Singh.
“It was for the first time that ECI was persistently taking the plea that consent of Govt of India and Sate Govt was necessary for announcing the election schedule. And in the process the mandate of constitution and judgments of Supreme Court were also being by-passed”, Singh claimed.
Pointing further towards the recent controversy in ECI, Singh said that EC Ashok Lavassa’s statement had further eroded the credibility of the commission and exposed it for its partisan conduct. He said any further delay in polls would only diminish the stature of the commission.