The CPIML Uttar Pradesh State unit has strongly condemned the filing of a false case at midnight by the administration against CPIML District Panchayat member in Hargaon (Sitapur) Arjun Lal in order to put pressure on him to support the BJP candidate for District Panchayat President.
In a statement issued at Lucknow on 28 June the party said that the Yogi government is blatantly hijacking democracy in the Panchayat President elections. Yogi's police are behaving like BJP workers. The entire administration is working for the victory of BJP candidates by hook or crook by threatening, buying, vanishing, or even arresting opposition Panchayat members and harassing their families.
The party said that as part of the strategy to defeat BJP Arjun Lal has proposed the name of independent candidate Preeti Singh Rawat for the Sitapur Panchayat President election to be held on 3 July. The nomination papers have been filed and verified. As a pressure tactic the Hargaon police registered a false case against him in the middle of the night in an old land matter, falsely accusing him of illegally occupying ceiling land. 30 persons from the village including Comrade Arjun Lal and his family members have been named as accused in the case. A police team is camping at Arjun Lal's house in the name of security, and messages are being sent to Arjun Lal that if he is ready to vote for the BJP candidate the case will be withdrawn, otherwise he could be arrested and jailed.
On coming to know of these developments, the people of the area reached Arjun Lal's house and formed a protective barrier around their elected Panchayat member.
CPIML has said that the Yogi government and BJP want to grab the Panchayat President post through money and muscle power. The police are being used to threaten and pressurise instead of protecting the people, and the State Election Commission remains a mute spectator.
Earlier, the ruling party had used the administrative machinery and other ploys to fraudulently declare 17 District President BJP candidates elected unopposed, cheating the SP and BSP candidates.
The administration putting pressure on Panchayat members in favour of the BJP candidate is a condemnable and criminal act and must be forcefully opposed.
The CPIML has sent a letter to the Chairman, State Election Commission of Uttar Pradesh drawing his attention to the fact that democracy is being blatantly violated through the use of police and administration to engineer the victory of BJP candidates in the District President Panchayat election held on 3 July 2021. Undue pressure is being brought upon District Panchayat members belonging to parties opposed to the BJP and they are being subjected to all forms of harassment including threats and harassment of their family members.
CPIML UP Standing committee member Arun Kumar informed of the incident of pressure being brought upon District Panchayat member Arjun Lal who is a member of CPIML and who won the Ward No. 14 seat in Hargaon Block by a large margin of votes. He is the proposer of independent candidate Priti Singh Rawat for the Sitapur District Panchayat President. In order to pressurize him into voting for the BJP candidate and facilitating BJP’s victory, the Hargaon police have registered a false case against him on 27 June 2021, alleging that he has illegally occupied ceiling land. Comrade Arjun Lal, his family members and supporters have been named as accused persons in the case. Moreover, at 9 am on 28 June 2021 the police placed Arjun Lal under house arrest at his home in Rikhipurwa village.
In protest, Arjun Lal started a dharna from 29 June 2021 against this illegal action by the administration.
Through the memorandum CPIML appealed to State Election Commission to conduct a free and fair election with the demands to: 1. Withdraw the false case registered at Hargaon Thana against District Panchayat member Arjun Lal (Case No. 0375/21). 2. End Arjun Lal’s house arrest. And 3. Stop the undue pressure put on Arjun Lal to make the BJP candidate victorious, and save democracy.
After people's protests in Sitapur District and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, Comrade Arjun Lal was released from arrest after 36 hours. The government withdrew the police guard placed at Arjun Lal's house. However, the indefinite dharna continued, and on 30 June a march was organized from Rikhi Purwa to Hargaon under the Left parties' nationwide call against spiralling prices and with the demand for withdrawal of the false case against 30 persons including Arjun Lal. The march was attended by CPIML State Secretary Comrade Sudhakar Yadav. Comrade Arjun Lal's release is a victory for the poor and the working class against BJP's autocracy.