Zila Panchayats – (75)
BJP – 65
SP – 6
OTH – 4
Block Panchayat – (826)
BJP – 626
INC – 5
SP – 98
OTH – 96
Much concern has already been expressed at the excessive violence and intimidation witnessed in the recent block pramukh elections of Uttar Pradesh held on 10 July.
However, attention also needs to be drawn to the curious fact that even before voting took place, Bharatiya Janata Party-backed candidates had already been declared elected unopposed on 334 seats out of the total 825 block pramukh seats in the state.
In other words, even before a single vote was polled on 10 July, as many as 40% of the total number of seats were safely in the control of BJP supported candidates.
Why did such a large number of seats remain uncontested in a state of such high levels of politicisation and such intense political rivalries, with many parties in the running to gain a dominant or important position in this politically most influential state of India, which will also be holding crucial assembly elections early next year?
And why would as many as 334 out of 349 uncontested seats have BJP supported candidates as uncontested winners? Here it may be pointed out that no direct voting by people takes place for block pramukhs. Instead, they are elected indirectly by a relatively small number of block council members who people have already elected.
Sixty-eight nominations were rejected and as many as 187 candidates took back their nominations.
Violence erupted on Thursday in at least 12 UP districts during the filing of nominations for block chairman elections with Samajwadi Party and BJP cadres clashing with crude bombs and bricks and a shocking video emerging on social media of an SP-backed candidate’s proposer being pulled by her sari by two men in Lakhimpur Kheri.
While nomination papers of candidates were torn in Unnao, Etah, Siddharthnagar, Lalitpur and Lakhimpur Kheri, crude bombs were hurled and bullets flew in Sitapur and heavy brick-batting was reported in Kannauj.
In Jhansi, SP workers accused BJP leaders of forcibly stopping them from filing nominations. And hours after the SP worker was manhandled in Lakhimpur Kheri, a sexual harassment case was filed by police. The woman was a proposer for the SP candidate, whose nomination papers were allegedly torn.
Additional director general of police, law and order, Prashant Kumar, said that minor clashes took place in 14 places and all district police chiefs had been told to act against lawbreakers. “Adequate security along with a company of women cops have been deployed at all sensitive polling centres and videography and surveillance is being done with drones,” said Kumar.
Sitapur district magistrate Vishal Bharadwaj said that a man was rushed to Lucknow hospital with bullet wounds during the filing of nominations at Kasmanda. “Four persons have been detained. A probe is underway, and an FIR would be lodged,” he said.
In Bahraich, SP candidate Devendra Singh and his supporters stormed into the nomination centre at Nanpara and clashed with cops in which a constable suffered injuries. SP Bahraich Sujata Singh said that an FIR was registered against five people and 60 members of the Samajwadi Party.
In Etah, lawlessness prevailed at Marhara block. Nomination papers were snatched from Samajwadi Party candidate Guddi Devi which triggered off violence and several policemen were injured in the standoff. In Lalitpur, too, BJP workers allegedly tried to snatch the nomination papers of an SP candidate.
While in Kannauj, a TV journalist was assaulted while he was on his way to file nomination, SP candidate’s nomination paper was allegedly snatched in the presence of former Speaker Mata Prasad in Siddharthnagar.
Similar incidents were reported from Unnao’s Nawabganj area, where SP members alleged BJP cadres tried to snatch their candidate’s nomination papers.
In Chitrakoot’s Manikpur, SP members alleged that BJP cadres stopped their candidates from filing nominations. In Banda, a minor scuffle broke out between rivals and in neighbouring Jalaun, BJP workers engaged in a verbal duel with police.
At Powai block of Azamgarh district, BJP workers allegedly attacked the SP candidate, while in Sant Kabir Nagar’s Belhar block, former SP minister Laxmikant alias Pappu Nishad along with candidate Rikeshwar Rai clashed with BJP workers near the nomination centre. As a result, Rai suffered injuries during a police crackdown.
Police chiefs in all districts said they were probing cases of violence and FIRs would be registered.
“हिंदू खतरे में नहीं
लोकतंत्र खतरे मैं है
भारत की आजादी खतरे मैं है”
it is much clear that now your Universal Right to Contest in elections does not even exist.