Congress moves EC, seeks FIR against Uttarakhand CM, chief secy over model code ‘violations’

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The Congress urged the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday to initiate criminal proceedings against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief secretary and other functionaries of the state government, alleging that they back-dated appointments, transfers and postings and tampered with official records, violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). In a memorandum submitted to the EC, the Congress alleged “gross violations” of the MCC and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttarakhand.

“As the BJP government of Uttarakhand is conscious of the fact that it is being routed in the upcoming elections by the people of Uttarakhand, the Dhami government has indulged in desperate tampering of government records by back-dated appointments, transfers and postings and tampering with official records,” the opposition party alleged.

It demanded that action and criminal proceedings, including registration of FIRs, be initiated against Dhami, Chief Secretary S S Sandhu and other functionaries of the Uttarakhand government for “back-dating and tampering” with government records, and flagrantly violating the MCC as also the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The EC should set aside or declare illegal the back-dated appointments of BJP leaders to the Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) as the same are in violation of the MCC and other legal provisions, the Congress memorandum signed by party leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harish Rawat, Randeep Surjewala, Ganesh Godiyal, Pritam Singh, Devendra Yadav, Pranav Jha and Aman Panwar said.

It also urged the EC to set aside or declare illegal the back-dated appointments made qua the Veer Madho Singh Bhandari Uttarakhand Technical University for being violative of the MCC and other legal provisions.

“Set aside/declare illegal the back-dated transfer/postings of teachers in various parts of Uttarakhand for the same to be violative of the MCC and other legal provisions,” the memorandum read.

It also called for setting aside or declaring illegal the back-dated appointments made qua the mandi samitis of Uttarakhand or any other state entity for the same to be violative of the MCC and other legal provisions.

The Congress also urged the poll panel to immediately stay all “back-dated” appointments illegally dated as January 7 and disallow the said appointees from assuming charge.

It also called for appointing a special EC observer to examine all the government orders passed 72 hours prior to and after the declaration of election by the poll panel to re-examine which ones are back-dated by the Dhami government in order to gain “undue political advantage”.

Polling for the Uttarakhand Assembly election will be held in a single phase on February 14 and the counting of votes will be taken up on March 10.

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