Members from BJP and several other parties met a Election Commission team to put forth their grievances in Lucknow on Wednesday. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and his entire team are on a two-day tour to review preparations for the second and third phases of the elections. While the BJP demanded removal of over two dozen senior officers including Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and DGP Javeed Ahmad, other political parties demanded that the EC ensure “free and fair” elections. EC officials assured them they would look into the complaints and suggestions.
WATCH VIDEO | Assembly Elections 2017: How Has UP Voted In The Past Explained
The BJP delegation — led by party national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, state vice-president J P S Rathore and party in-charge of administrative affairs Kuldeep Pati Tripathi — argued that Ahmed was “close” to the SP and the Yadav family. Citing recent incidents of crime in the state, they complained that there had been “unnecessary delay” in police and district administration issuing permissions to BJP candidates for canvassing.
BJP also complained that EC officers in UP have not publicised any assurance of security and safety to Hindus who have migrated from Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut and Saharanpur, hence it was uncertain whether these migrants would be able to cast their votes during elections. It further claimed SP, BSP and Congress had given tickets to people with criminal backgrounds and a few are contesting from behind bars. Such candidates could influence voters through muscle power, they alleged.
Meanwhile, a SP delegation comprising Cabinet ministers Rajendra Chaudhary and Ahmed Hasan and state president Naresh Uttam, complained to the EC officers that BJP and BSP were raising “communal and caste-related issues” in canvassing and the commission should take due action. “We said that BJP leaders were making false complaints against senior officers to mount pressure on them,” Chaudhary said.
The Congress delegation complain to Zaidi about improper implementation of a single window system to give permission for canvassing and transportation. RLD’s youth wing state president Ravindra Singh Patel said his party’s delegation demanded transfer of SPs and DMs, who had been transferred during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections following poll-related complaints and were again posted in districts at present.
RLD also demanded that polling agents of political parties be allowed to be present inside the polling booth on election day to prevent impersonation. The commission also met officials of enforcement agencies including income tax, excise and narcotics. On Thursday, it will hold a meeting with divisional commissioners, DMs, SSPs, SPs, DIGs and IGs of constituencies, which are scheduled to go for polls in third and fourth phases.