JAMMU, Jan 10: Questioning non- imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in J&K following the premature dissolution of State Assembly, NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh decried the present state dispensation for flagrant violation of directions of Election Commission of India (ECI).
Addressing press conference here today, Singh referred to the ECI’s directives on the applicability of the MCC to be followed by a caretaker Government in cases of premature dissolution of a State Assembly till the formation of new Government.
Harsh Dev disclosed that ECI’s order issued last year, categorically stated that the Model Code of Conduct will come into operation with immediate effect following the premature dissolution of Assembly in the State concerned and shall continue to be in force till the completion of the election to constitute the new Legislative Assembly. The directives further stated that the provisions of Part-VII of the MCC shall apply on the caretaker State Government as well as on the Central Government in the matters relating to that state, adding that neither the caretaker State Government nor the Central Government shall announce any new schemes, projects, etc. in the state or undertake any of the activities prohibited under the aforesaid Part-VII of the MCC, Harsh revealed.
He said that ECI categorically conveyed its order through a letter addressed to Union Cabinet Secretary and all the Chief Secretaries of States and UTs quoting , “The caretaker government should merely carry on the day-to-day affairs, desist from taking any major policy situation decision and run the administration for the purpose of free, fair, transparent and robust electoral process”. In view of MCC coming into operation from the day of premature dissolution of Legislative Assembly, he said that the first impact of the ECI’s directives was seen on Telangana where the Assembly was dissolved before maturity last year in view of its Chief Minister recommending early polls in the State. Why J&K has been kept out of the ambit of ECI’s order? Why did the State Government allow ex-MLAs to use CDF through its weird order? How the new projects/schemes were being announced on day to day basis with a particular political party taking credit for the same?
Strongly advocating for early Assembly polls in the State, Harsh Dev said that with the State earlier remaining under Governor Rule for six months followed by President’s Rule, it would be wholly unjustified and unconstitutional to plan further extension of Central Rule after May 21 as was being suggested through media reports.