New Delhi: A delegation of Congress leaders from Haryana on Tuesday met the Election Commissioners and raised the issue of alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The party also raised the issue of the Maharashtra government granting extension to the Mumbai Police Commissioner and sought the poll panel's intervention.
Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana will be held on 21 October. Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and party leaders Ashish Dua, Peranav Jha and Vineet Punia were present during the meeting with the Election Commissioners.
Hooda said the chief minister was "violating" the model code of conduct everyday with impunity and alleged that the EC was not acting against him. The two leaders sought immediate intervention of the EC in stopping recruitment in Haryana and removal of political hoardings.
In a memorandum to the EC, the Congress leaders said the chief minister has been writing to farmers and announcing schemes for them despite the model code of conduct coming into force with the announcement of the poll schedule by the Election Commission.
They said the Ministry of Home Affairs on 29 August extended the services of Commissioner of Mumbai Police Sanjay Barve, who was to retire on 31 August.
"Such an act is in complete violation of this commission's instructions and warrants immediate exercise of the EC's constitutional powers," the party said in a memorandum and sought directions to the state election authorities "to immediately take necessary steps against the aforementioned Commissioner of Police to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections".
In another memorandum, the Congress sought immediate removal of hoardings at public places, advertisements at petrol pumps, hospitals and other public places seeking to project the achievements of the BJP government.
"This is to bring to your kind attention an urgent issue regarding blatant and egregious violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the ruling political party. It has come to our notice that hoardings, advertisements, etc. featuring the present Chief Minister of Haryana and projecting his Government's 'achievements' are being displayed prominently at public places and most notably petrol pump stations, state government hospitals etc. across the state despite the announcement of the schedule to the Legislative Assembly Elections 2019 on September 21st, 2019," the memorandum said.
The Congress also alleged that officials at Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) and Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) have repeatedly been acting as political agents of the BJP government in the state.
"...the undersigned had apprised this Hon'ble Commission of such corrupt practice of selecting candidates under the guise of HPSC and HSSC and later approaching and asking them to join the BJP and advertise the largesse of the BJP towards them and their families vide its representation dated September 12th, 2019," the leaders said.
"The BJP, wherever it has been in government, has time and again undermined the sanctity of our electoral laws and the authority of this Hon'ble Commission. No previous Government has been so blatantly defiant in their approach to electoral laws designed to prevent misuse of Government resources in campaigning.
"We are constrained to beseech this Commission to ensure a level playing field.... We hope the Commission treats the matter with the urgency it deserves, " Congress said.
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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2019 10:36:33 IST