Election Commission independent body: Rijiju

Srinagar: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said the Election Commission is an independent body and while the government provides help to the poll panel for smooth functioning, it does not make anyone “dance” to its tunes.

Speaking to reporters in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the minister also said the media does not talk about the development that has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir as a result of the DDC elections but only about assembly polls.

District Development Council elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, a year after the erstwhile state lost its special status following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and was divided into two union territories.

Responding to a question about the Opposition’s charge that the EC is acting on the directions of the government and the BJP, Rijiju said the poll panel is impartial and independent.

“Being the administrative minister incharge — the Election Commission of India reports to the law ministry — I want to say that the Election Commission of India is an impartial, transparent, empowered and independent body,” he said.

The government’s role in the poll panel, he said, is limited to making arrangements for its smooth functioning.

“The government provides help to the Election Commission because without government help neither the courts can function nor any other institution. It is the duty of the government to make arrangements so that these institutions can function but we do not make anyone dance to our tunes,” he added.

Asked when assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir, Rijiju said they will be held at the right time.

“DDC elections were held in a wonderful manner and because of those elections so much good work is happening. You won’t write about the development, you will only harp on about elections.

“Those elections will happen in time because the dates have not been announced yet,” he said. (Agencies)

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