The Governor’s Administration today made it clear in unequivocal terms that the ongoing process for Urban and Rural Local Body polls in the State is being conducted in a free, fair and the most transparent manner and the outcome will 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 this morning.
The spokesman said that over the past 3 days, ever since Governor Satya Pal Malik gave a live interview to a TV Channel in Delhi, there has 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 has already decided that a certain candidate will be the Mayor of Srinagar.
He said the transcript of the portion, which is being debated upon in a slanted manner, is reproduced below:
Q: Couldn’t you have waited for 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 the 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 spokesman said that the statement of the Governor was in the context of a discussion on the boycott of the local body elections by two state parties. “The Governor, in a freewheeling discussion, said that 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 is; “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 Governor had just said that he has information about the likelihood of a certain candidate becoming Mayor and how if this happens, it will upset some political parties. This possibility too has been a topic in the 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 can the statement of the Governor be construed to mean that he has either decided the Mayor of Srinagar or is 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 spokesperson said that certain news channels and sections of the media have been persistent in trying to project that the election process will be a failure even before it began. “Their reporting has been premeditated, to the extent of suppressing relevant facts from being projected,” he said and added that 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.