SEC Suverdhan seeks direction from HC


State Election Commissioner Suverdhan on Wednesday charged the Uttarakhand Government with non-cooperation and jeopardising the constitutional obligations of the State Election Commission in holding timely elections to the urban local bodies whose term will end on May 4.
He said he was forced to approach the Uttarakhand High Court due to the apathy and non-cooperation of the Uttarakhand government.
“In order to exert the power given to the state election body for holding free, fair and timely elections, we have approached the High Court. Now it is up to the court to decide on the matter,” said Suverdhan while addressing mediapersons.
He added that the government’s response was lacklustre and Chief Minister TS Rawat’s secretary Radhika Jha failed to give him a date.
“Despite a letter written in September to the authorities concerned for fixing a meeting with Rawat to discuss the elections, there was no response,” he said.
Suverdhan further said the election commissions in the country were established to ensure that the elections to the urban local bodies were held on time. “These were established to ensure that the governments did not delay the elections and these were held on time before the term of the incumbents ended. The commission is within its right to advise the government on holding timely elections,” he added.
The election commissioner also charged the government with interrupting the process of the commission.
“When we started voter verification drive, the government took up the reorganisation and expansion drive for local bodies. The process is still on as in several local bodies the matter was dragged to court. Whenever I approached Uttarakhand Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik, he kept on saying that the government would complete the boundary reorganisation and reservation exercise in time for the urban local bodies,” he said.
He also accused the government of failing to release funds for procuring EVMs and said that the government had not sanctioned any fund. “We had requested for the release of Rs 17 crore for the procurement of EVMs with VVPATs but the government has not released even a single penny till this day,” he said.


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