Election Commission Should Maintain Neutrality: Sharad Yadav   

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Janata Dal-United president and MP Sharad Yadav addressing the media at his residence in New Delhi on Saturday.

Sharad Yadav, while addressing media people, dubbed the smear campaign against the Mughal monuments as “diversionary tactics” of the BJP leaders to divert the attention of the public from failures of the Modi government. He also expressed his concern that the EC postponed the announcement of the Gujarat election dates. 

Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — After senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a dig at the Election Commission (EC) for not announcing Gujarat poll dates, former Janata Dal-United president and MP Sharad Yadav on Saturday also slammed the poll panel saying it should not ruin its hard-earned credibility. He also dubbed the smear campaign against the Mughal monuments as“diversionary tactics” of the BJP leaders to divert the attention of the public from failures of the Modi government.

Addressing the media at his residence here to announce a list of ad-hoc office-bearers of the party, the dissident JD (U) leader claimed that his faction is the true Janata Dal (U) as they have already submitted 429 affidavits of members of the party’s national council. In view of the appointment of the Returning Officer,“Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led faction of the party and his election as president of the party are illegal,” he said.  Nitish Kumar broke the rank with the grand alliance in Bihar and once again aligned with the BJP to form the government but a majority of the national council members did not endorse his decision.

Yadav underlined that every citizen was under stress because of the Modi-led BJP government. Without taking the name of Nitish Kumar, the dissident leader said the need of the hour is to expose such forces who for the sake of power have forgotten their ideologies and principles. We are awaiting the response of the poll body, he said.

Responding to a question whether the EC was acting under the pressure of the government by not announcing poll dates for Gujarat, Yadav said it was a matter of concern that the poll body postponed the announcement of the election dates.

Ye pehla mauqa hai ki aisi ghatna ghati hai, is se election commission par asar pada hai. Main commission ka sammaan karta houn jis ne badi mehnat ke baad puri dunya mein nishpaksh chunaw aayog ka darja mila hai aur ye achchi baat nahin hai (It is for the first time that such a thing has happened; this has affected the credibility of the election commission. I don’t think it is good. People have reposed their faith in the EC for long, and have trusted its credibility in testing times. Not announcing Gujarat election dates is not a good thing),” Yadav quipped.

“Democracy is the driving force of our Constitution and the poll panel till date has maintained its credibility, he said, adding “earlier the EC members would even in adverse circumstances maintain the neutrality of the poll panel and act as an honest referral.”

When asked about the increase in the turnover of BJP chief Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s company, Yadav responded saying that as far as corruption is concerned, the laws and law enforcement agencies are only for opposition leaders which reflects the government and BJP’s hypocrisy on the corruption issue.

Jay Shah is a Shah-zada, and we should speak less about them. People here are fond of Shah-zadas. They (BJP) have different standards and laws for the Opposition, which are not implemented on their own party members,” he added.

Talking about the Mughal monuments, senior JD (U) leader said the BJP had made of a plethora of promises to farmers, youth and also bringing back black money, and putting Rs 15 lakh in everybody’s account, but it failed to fulfill any of the promises.

Attacking Mughal monuments and history is a diversionary tactic to divert the attention of the masses from real issues and promises, he said. “I want to ask the great proponents and admirers of the ‘Mahan Sanskriti’ (great heritage), what would they say about the Luyten’s Delhi which was built by the British who ruled us for more than 200 years,” he stated.

On the Congress’ call for fighting elections jointly in Gujarat, JD (U) general secretary Anil Kumar Srivastava said we are trying to build an alliance of like-minded forces in Gujarat to dislodge the BJP government. He said the Congress’ invitation to other secular parties is a welcome move.

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