» Election » Mayawati terms EC action in UP 'arbitrary'

Mayawati terms EC action in UP 'arbitrary'

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
April 08, 2009 14:14 IST
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Angry over the removal of the state's principal home secretary by the Election Commission, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati on Wednesday hit out at the commission for "obstructing the smooth, free, fair and peaceful conduct of the poll in the state."

Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference just before flying off to Maharashtra for her election campaign, Mayawati said, "Removal of the Fateh Bahadur was arbitrary and has been apparently done simply on the basis of flimsy, false and one-sided complaints made by some opposition parties."

"The least that the Election Commission should have done was to authenticate these complaints before ordering such a drastic step," Mayawati said.

She sought to point out, "In the past also, EC went about ordering removal of some district magistrates and superintendents of police besides some lower officials without making any effort to verify facts, which was not being fair to the state government."

Mayawati alleged that many of the new appointments were "made directly by the commission without even seeking a panel from the state government," though she admitted that in case of the principal home secretary a panel of three officers had been sought.

"The UP government was fully committed to strictly adhering to the norms and rules laid down by the EC and I have also issued firm directives to not only my officials but also party candidates and workers not to allow the slightest violation of the model code of conduct," she claimed.

"I would like to make a humble appeal to the Election Commission to point out any violation in the code of conduct or in the guidelines given by it; I can assure them that corrective action would be taken promptly by the state government, but the commission must not be guided by baseless and false complaints made by the opposition,' Mayawati added.

"If the commission were to continue with such arbitrary practice, then let me tell them that the state government would not be responsible if there were any untoward incidents like a terrorists strike, a communal flare-up or any other breakdown of law and order including mishap with some candidate," the UP CM warned.

According to her, "smooth conduct of the election was bound to get affected because of last minute shifting of officials for whom it was very demoralising specially since they were doing a good job."

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow