The Election Commission reprimanded Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor GC Murmu for his recent statements on election timing in the erstwhile state, underlining that it was improper and amounted to interfering with the poll panel’s mandate.
Tuesday’s statement came after Mr. Murmu said the elections to the J-K assembly would be held after the delimitation exercise.
Lt Governor Murmu last month had told a national newspaper that he did not see a problem in holding elections except the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Election Commission takes exception to such statements and would like to state that in the Constitutional scheme of things, the timings etc. of elections is the sole remit of Election Commission of India,” the commission said in a statement.“It would be proper for authorities other than the Election Commission to refrain from making such statements which virtually tantamount to interfering with the Constitutional mandate of the Election Commission,” the statement said.
The poll panel statement appeared to suggest that the decision on the election dates was a lot more complex than it was made out to be.
The EC, before coming out with the election dates, takes relevant factors into consideration, the statement said. These, it said, include the topography, weather, sensitivities arising out of regional and local festivities in the area(s) where the election is to take place.“For example, in the current times, Covid 19 has introduced a new dynamic, which has to be and shall be taken into consideration at the due time. In the instant case, the outcome of Delimitation is also germane to the decision. Similarly, availability of central forces and railway coaches, etc. for the transportation of CPFs are important factors,” the commission said.