Keep tabs on officers `loyal' to SP, poll panel urged

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GETTING READY: Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy at a review meeting in Lucknow on on Wednesday.
GETTING READY: Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy at a review meeting in Lucknow on on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Call to prevent politicians with criminal antecedents from influencing Assembly elections

  • Government urges CEC to lift bar on ongoing development projects
  • Congress asks CEC to postpone second round of polling on April 13

    LUCKNOW: The Opposition parties on Wednesday urged the Election Commission to ensure that officers loyal to the ruling Samajwadi Party and politicians with criminal antecedents and mafiosi are prevented from influencing the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The seven-phase polls begin on April 7 next.

    This was the outcome of Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy's meeting with the political parties at Raj Bhawan here on Wednesday. Mr. Gopalaswamy began a two-day election review meeting on Wednesday.

    The CEC is accompanied by Election Commissioners Naveen Chawla and S.R. Qureishi.

    On its part, the Samajwadi Party delegation of national general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav and Transport Minister, Naresh Agarwal, dismissed the allegation of misuse of official machinery. They urged the CEC to lift the Commission's bar on the ongoing development projects as huge funds had been invested in them.

    Mr. Gopalaswamy received separate delegations of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party. In its representation, the BJP expressed apprehension at the violation of the model code of conduct by Ministers and ruling party functionaries.

    The BJP delegation led by State unit president Kesari Nath Tripathi and Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Lalji Tandon told Mr. Gopalaswamy and the Election Commissioners that all transfers and postings in the last three months should be reviewed. The poll panel was also apprised of the need to keep a close watch on the administrative and police officials considered close to the ruling establishments.

    A similar demand was made by the Congress. Addressing a press conference, the leader of the delegation and UP Congress president Salman Khurshid said that a website containing the details of the arms licences issued should be created.

    Mr. Khurshid said the poll panel was told to tighten the noose around 70 political leaders with alleged criminal antecedents.

    The BSP delegation led by the party general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra urged the Commission to ensure free and fair polls by checking violations of the Model Code by SP leaders.

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