Mayawati flays poll panel for removing Jaunpur officials

April 21st, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow, April 21 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday raised objections to the Election Commission transferring three police officials over the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Indian Justice Party’s (IJP) Jaunpur candidate Bahadur Sonkar and termed the poll panel as “Congress and Samajwadi Party agents”.
“The Election Commission is behaving in a partisan manner and the commissioners Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi were particularly acting like agents of the Congress and Samajwadi Party,” Mayawati said at a press conference here.

“Their removal was not only totally unjustified but uncalled for; it would have a demoralising effect on the police force engaged with all their devotion to ensuring a free and fair poll in the state,” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said.

The poll panel Monday ordered the transfer of Additional Superintendent of Police (city) Ramkishore, Circle Officer Dipender Nath Chaudharyand Jaunpur Station House Officer Sanjay Kumar Rai over Sonkar’s mysterious death even as the state police dubbed the suspected murder as a “suicide”.

Referring to the earlier feud between former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Chawla, she said: “Now it appears to me that the allegation levelled by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) against Chawla were correct; I can see how he is working like a Congress agent.”

The BSP chief was particularly livid about Quraishi, whom she accused of “repeatedly messing up with UP’s (Uttar Pradesh) poll process”.

“I am aware that Quraishi has local connections and he also has some nexus with both Congress and the Samajwadi Party, who he was trying to help,” Mayawati said.

Sonkar’s body was found hanging from a tree April 13, days after he refused to withdraw his nomination. He was reportedly being pressurised to withdraw from the race by a local deputy superintendent of police, known for his proximity to BSP nominee for the Jaunpur seat Dhananjay Singh.

Sonkar’s brother had accused the state government of going all out to put a smokescreen over the alleged involvement of a BSP candidate in what he called a murder.

Mayawati, however, apparently seems to have forgotten that she had herself praised the poll panel for its impartial and stern handling of the 2007 state assembly election that propelled her to power for the fourth time and that too entirely on her own strength.

“My party was at the receiving end during the 2007 state assembly election too, when the Election Commission continued to needle us at that time also,” she alleged.

Earlier this month, the chief minister had reacted sharply when the poll panel ordered shifting of the state’s principal home secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, who was believed to be enjoying close proximity to her and the party.

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