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BJP Goa Govt misusing state machinery; disobeying State EC orders

BJP Goa Govt misusing state machinery; disobeying State EC orders
  • BJP Government in Goa is misusing the state machinery against AAP and its candidates
  • AAP files complaint with Chief Election Commission regarding misuse of Torch symbol
The Goa Assembly Election campaign in Goa has entered the last leg, with voting scheduled to take place on 4th February, 2017. With the Bhartiya Janata Party anticipating a massive defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party, it is doing everything possible to throw hurdles in the way of the AAP's campaign in Goa. Several incidents over the last two weeks since the Model Code of Conduct came into force show the brazen misuse of state machinery by the BJP.
During a press conference addressed by Delhi Convener Dilip Pandey at the National Headquarters of the party, he said, "The Bhartiya Janata Party has already realised that they are losing the upcoming election to the Aam Aadmi Party. Instead of accepting that they are losing the mandate of the people. the BJP is misusing the state machinery to suppress and muzzle the AAP's campaign. The BJP's attempts at stopping AAP's campaign are disturbing the level playing field that is needed in a democracy."
The Aam Aadmi Party has filed a complaint with the Chief Election Commission (CEC) regarding the use of the "Torch" symbol by Babush Monserrate in Panjim. After the 2013 elections, the AAP had complained to the EC that due to the similarity in symbols between AAP's broom and the torch, voters were being misled, the EC had removed the symbol from the 'Free list'. The AAP has complained to the CEC regarding the use of the same symbol by Babush in Panjim. 
Despite express permissions of the State EC, the state machinery is not allowing AAP to put up hoardings, in spaces which have been purchased legally through due process. The State Chief Electoral Officer has already clarified that installation of political hoardings at licensed private spaces is permitted, the Flying Squad of the EC manned by the State Election Commission is pulling down the hoardings. This is a blatant misuse of state machinery to muzzle the demcoratic right of a political party to campaign. Such actions have seriously hampered the level playing field.
Over the past week, AAP volunteers have been assaulted by goons in Panjim and in Taleigao. The Goa Police has not taken the cases seriously and has taken no actions against the miscreants. The AAP believes that lack of police action at this point would only embolden and encourage the miscreants. 
Two AAP Candidates, Godwin Fernandes from Calangute, and Pradeep Ghadi Amonkar from Thivim were forced by the Returning Offices to physically present the ten proposers and were refusing to accept the nomination. There was no justification for such demands by the ROs and it points to attempts to harass AAP candidates.
The Aam Aadmi Party demands that the Chief Election Commission take cognisance of the serious threat to democracy posed by misuse of BJP Government's state machinery in Goa.

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