Congress seeks transfer of SSP, DC Kishtwar; accuses them of being partisan

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Pallavi Sareen

Jammu, Apr 13: While Congress leaders demand SSP Kishtwar, Shakti Pathak and DC Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana to be transferred elsewhere during the elections, Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar says that no complaint has been received yet.

Both National Conference and Congress leaders allege administrative bias since SSP Kishtwar Shakti Pathak has been OSD of Dr Nirmal Singh.

Congress leader Vikas Malhotra said, “Not only was he associated with Dr Nirmal Singh, but he is also an RSS man. Angrez Singh Rana is also dear to BJP.”

“There have been protests going on in Kishtwar against the administration. After the unfortunate incident, everyone has been demanding the government to transfer SSP Kishtwar and DC Kishtwar but no one is paying any heed. It is evident that they are paid BJP agents more than administrators. Our parliamentary candidate Vikramaditya Singh also filed a complaint in the Election Commission against them,” said Congress District President Kishtwar, Mohinder Parihar.

While Congress leaders say that they have complained in the Election Commission asking for the transfer of SSP Kishtwar and DC Kishtwar before polling begins, Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar refutes those claims.

He said, “I have received no such complaint yet.”

Five days before polling for the Doda-Kathua-Udhampur constituency begins, the situation still hasn’t returned to normalcy in Kishtwar District of Jammu and Kashmir. Kishtwar remains under curfew for the fifth consecutive day with internet ban still in place.

Polling for the Doda-Udhampur constituency was set to be on April 18th but since curfew has been imposed, after the killing of RSS leader Chander Kant Sharma and his PSO, people are unsure about whether polling will be rescheduled for the area. Moreover, in this critical week before polling begins, candidates are unable to campaign and woo the voters. Internet ban has made campaigning through social media impossible and even voters are being denied their right to stay informed about the candidates before voting.

National Conference leaders are of the belief that the curfew is being deliberately extended to allow polarization of votes. Since no untoward incident has happened since Tuesday that mandates curfew extension and internet ban for so long, it is leaving people perplexed as to whether voting will take place or not.

National Conference leader Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy said, “Internet ban was in place even in Doda for so long and people were facing a lot of problems because of that. When the situation is not okay yet in Kishtwar, how can you let elections take place?”