BJP’s conduct of panchayat polls undemocratic: Goa churchApril 23rd, 2012 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, April 23 (IANS) In its first critique of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, the Goa Church has accused it of being “undemocratic and unjust” and interfering with the functioning of the state election commission and other agencies involved in conducting the panchayat polls.
The Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), a social arm of the Roman Catholic church, has also expressed “dismay and apprehension” at the manner in which “village panchayats are being sabotaged by partisan political interests and arbitrary and non-transparent functioning of the Directorate of Panchayats”.
“The CSJP voices its objection to this undemocratic and unjust manner of functioning of the state government and its various agencies involved in the conduct of the Village Panchayat elections. The present elections of the Village Panchayats scheduled for May 16 cannot be claimed to be free and fair,” CSJP executive secretary Fr Maverick Fernandes said in a statement issued here.
“The arbitrary manner in which the Director of Panchayats has been issuing and withdrawing corrigendums regarding the delimitation of wards proves the vulnerability of this office to political pressures and the absence of any mechanism to check abuse of power in subverting free and fair elections by this office,” he added.
Fernandes also questioned the neutrality of the “independent” office of the state election commission.
“The manner in which the Goa State Election Commission has exempted corrigendums issued by the Directorate of Panchayats from the Election Code of Conduct and then using this excuse to postpone elections in a village panchayat brings into question the neutrality of this independent institution in Goa,” he said.
An influential voice in Goa’s socio-political fabric because of the nearly 26 percent Christian population in the state, this is the church’s first direct criticism of the ruling dispensation after the BJP-led coalition came to power last month.
Polling for Goa’s 185 village panchayats is scheduled next month.
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- Goa Church threatens boycott of village panchayat polls - May 03, 2012
- 'Plans to convert Goa into Hong Kong an insult' - Feb 28, 2012
- Goa Church criticises Kamat's land use policy - Dec 15, 2011
- Proposed Goa police law has many defects, says Church - Jan 22, 2011
- Goa's crusading church NGO website hacked - Aug 31, 2012
- Church to tourists: Leave beaches, embrace Goa culture - Sep 30, 2011
- Church accuses Goa government of shielding illegal mining - Oct 02, 2010
- Mining eating into Goa forests: Church - Jun 05, 2011
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- Goa drops LGBT tourism talks amid protest from Church, others - Oct 20, 2011
- Kamat sold out to real estate lobby: Goa church - Dec 01, 2011
- Right to productive living denied in Goa: Church - Aug 21, 2010
- Goa church rues shrinking Christian numbers in Israel - Jun 11, 2012
- Church indicts Goa government for shielding drug traders - Jul 21, 2010
Tags: abuse of power, arbitrary manner, bharatiya janata party, bjp, christian population, delimitation, dispensation, election code, executive secretary, goa state, independent institution, independent office, justice and peace, panaji, political fabric, political interests, political pressures, roman catholic church, social arm, state election commission