The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday took strong objection over media reports of the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government considering amendments in statutes, to curb the powers and functions of the State Election Commission. The said amendments are being proposed to circumvent the Supreme Court order - which directed the SEC to proceed with the state's local body elections after nullifying OBC reservation; due to the MVA's inexcusable failure to provide data based on a comprehensive socio-economic census for the provision of OBC reservation.
"This marks a dark day for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's vision of a free and fair electoral democracy, as well as of equity in social development, that drives our nation," the party said.
Ruben Mascarenhas, AAP Mumbai Working President asked why does such a comprehensive study regarding the socio-economic conditions of Maharashtra's population remain unavailable with the government; with the previous such study having been conducted in 1931?
"Government after government, leading all the way up to MVA 2019-24, ruling parties have unforgivably defrauded the backward classes of Maharashtra - by enacting legislation to apparently uplift them, but without any data or information as regards the targetted groups, stakeholders, or policy objectives," Ruben added
Further it said that the second consideration pertains to the larger precedence of overreach that the state government will be setting, by passing the amendments being considered to reduce the powers of the SEC.
AAP then alleged that by following in the footsteps of two BJP ruled states - Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the MVA is treading towards violating the constitutional division of power that protects the sanctity of the electoral process.
"By absorbing the SEC functions of conducting delimitation and issuing the electoral roll, the State Government shall effectively have the power to decide when the local body elections would be conducted. They would indefinitely hold off the elections as per their political motivations, and for all purposes, dissolve all the merits of a fair electoral process," the party added.
"Ruling parties must be forced to reflect upon Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's vision of an electorally fair, and a socially representative democracy that is being infringed upon today. Imagine, if tomorrow, the Central Government takes up the mantle to decide when elections will be held, like the MVA is attempting to, in the context of local body polls; they will compromise the electoral process beyond imagination. While the issue of OBC reservation needs to be resolved urgently, this cannot happen by violating the institutional division of power that safeguards our democracy." said Preeti Sharma Menon, National Executive Member and Mumbai Prabhari.