STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Alleging large scale irregularities and rigging in the recently concluded DDC polls, the activists of NPP led by Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP, Balwant Singh Mankotia State President, Yash Paul Kundal General Secretary and other leaders took out a peaceful procession to register their protest with the State Election Commission (SEC).
The protesters carrying placards in their hands silently marched towards SEC where they had announced to submit a memorandum to the Commissioner who however was not available in the office.
The NPP activists on reaching found that not a single official was present in SEC office which was surrounded by huge contingents of Police and Para military forces. The party activists staged a peaceful protest which was addressed by senior party leaders.
Speaking to the media persons, Harsh said that all SOP’s relating to conduct of elections were brazenly flouted by the BJP leaders in league with the concerned officials and local administration in order to rig the DDC polls in favour of the ruling party. There was a dichotomy between the number of polled votes as per records of the polling booths and the votes actually found in the ballot boxes. The votes of 5-6 polling booths were intermingled at the counting stations which constituted the most glaring deviation from the prevalent practice. Mixing of votes of various polling stations was the greatest fraud played upon the peoples mandate so as to cover up the bogus votes included in various ballot boxes. The objections of counting agents of opposition at polling booths were summarily rejected and those raising objections thrown out of counting halls by use of brute police force, said Singh. “It was the first time that polling agents were not allowed to accompany the ballot boxes upto the strong room earmarked for storage of such boxes. The BJP abused the govt. machinery to the full to rig the polls and subvert the peoples’ verdict”, said Singh adding that its conduct deserved mourning rather than mere condemnation.
Mankotia said that same symbol was allotted to more than one contestant in certain Panchayats and DDCs of district Udhampur. He pointed out that in Tikri constituency the symbol of ‘Bat’ was assigned to a DDC candidate as well as a Sarpanch candidate of Garnai Panchayat which too fell in Tikri DDC. He expressed his dismay that strong room in Udhampur had no roof and was opened several times prior to the date of counting.
Kundal alleged tampering with ballot boxes after the polls so as to tilt the results in favour of a political party. He said that DDC elections provided the most glaring example of murder of democracy in J&K. Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Manju Singh, Gagan Pratap Singh, Parshotam Parihar, Sham Gorkha, Rajni Jamwal, Shankaar Singh Sanju, Satvir Manhas, Khatab Hussain, Sarpanch Arjun Singh, Sarpanch Vikram Singh, Councillor Samnik Bhasin, Ex-Sarpanch Surjit Singh and Gurdeep Singh Raju.