Conduct free and fair polls to Zilla Panchayat president posts in U.P., High Court tells EC

Undue pressure was being exerted on multiple stakeholders to tilt the election in favour of the ruling BJP.

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections to the posts of the Zilla Panchayat President in Uttar Pradesh amid allegations that the there was pressure being created on candidates so as to influence the polls in favour of the ruling party BJP candidates.

A Division Bench of justices Rajan Roy and Saurabh Lavania on July 1 passed the order on a writ petition filed by a candidate of the Samajwadi Party from Sitapur for the election to Zilla Panchayat president post.

The petitioner Anita had submitted that immense pressure was being exercised on the candidates, their relatives and agents so as to influence the elections in favour of the ruling BJP.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the FIRs were being lodged against the relatives of the candidates and they had the apprehension that the election would not be free and fair.

The petitioner prayed that an observer be appointed and videography of the election process be done and that the elections be conducted strictly in accordance with the Uttar Pradesh Zila Panchayat (Election of President and Vice President and Settlement of Election Disputes) Rules, 1994 and Circular dated November 30, 2010.

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