Says foreign-educated Mayor will send jitters among boycotting parties
The Governor’s administration Thursday made it clear in unequivocal terms that the ongoing process for urban and rural local bodies polls in the State was being conducted in a free, fair and most transparent manner and the outcome would be exclusively in the hands of the people.
“As the head of the government, the Governor will ensure this,” said a spokesperson of the Raj Bhavan in a statement issued here.
The spokesman said over the past three days, ever since Governor Satya Pal Malik gave a live interview to a TV channel in Delhi, there had been a persistent attempt by that channel and certain other channels to play up one part of the interview in a distorted manner leading to a flurry of allegations that the Governor had already decided that a certain candidate would be the Mayor of Srinagar.
The Raj Bhavan reproduced the transcript of portion, which was being debated upon in a slanted manner.
“Q. Couldn’t you have waited little more to get them on board to assure them?
Governor: Your logic is contradicted by……… we have waited for Anantnag, anything changed, nothing will change by waiting. Everything will change if we will go with election process. My information is that both the parties are regretting because in Srinagar they are getting a Mayor who is foreign educated; he is a young leader; if he emerges it will send jitters to these parties,” the Raj Bhavan spokesman quoted the Governor as saying.
The spokesman said the statement of the Governor was in the context of discussion on the boycott of the local body elections by two state parties.
“The Governor, in a freewheeling discussion, said he has information about a certain candidate. This person is not an unknown person and he has resigned from one of the state parties to be able to contest the election. His resignation was widely reported in all papers as a major story,” the Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
He said the exact statement of the Governor was, “My information is that both the parties are regretting because in Srinagar they see they are getting a Mayor who is foreign educated; he is a young leader; if he emerges it will send jitters to these parties.”
The Raj Bhavan spokesman said the Governor had just said that he had information about the likelihood of a certain candidate becoming Mayor and how if that happens would upset some political parties.
“This possibility too has been a topic in media for quite some time. In a discussion on the boycott of the polls by two local parties and the impact of the polls on them, this is a simple statement on a possible outcome which may be inconvenient to them if it happens,” he said.
The spokesman said that in no way could the statement of the Governor be construed to mean that he had either decided the Mayor of Srinagar or was involved in the electoral process.
“The electoral process is in the hands of an independent Chief Electoral Officer who is responsible for conducting a free and fair poll. That is what he is doing along with officials involved in the electoral process. The Mayor of Srinagar is to be elected by the Councilors of the Municipal Corporation of Srinagar and that is not a pre-determined outcome. The Governor has no role in the election either of Councilors, and even less so, in the election of the Mayor,” the spokesman said.
The Raj Bhavan spokesman said certain news channels and sections of the media had been persistent in trying to project that the election process would be a failure even before it began.
“Their reporting has been premeditated to the extent of suppressing relevant facts from being projected,” he said. “It seems deliberate attempts are being made by certain quarters to trigger controversies where there are none by twisting statements to imply things which were not meant.”