NEW DELHI: A day before Uttar Pradesh votes on Wednesday in the first phase of assembly elections, there is already a controversy brewing.
A poll observer, who stopped Priyanka Gandhi's husband Robert Vadra's bike rally in the Gandhi bastion of Amethi for violating the model code of conduct, has been transferred to Goa.
However, reacting to CNN-IBN report, the Election Commission claims that the transfer of IAS officer Pawan Sen is routine.
The Election Commission has even put the transfer on hold till February 19, when voting is over in Amethi.
The Election Commission further claimed that the transfer order had been prepared in the morning itself and had little to do with the IAS officer's actions. He had reportedly stopped the rally as it was using more than the permissible number of vehicles under the model code of conduct.
Defending its decision, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi called the incident a funny coincidence.
He said, "This is a funny coincidence. He is getting promotion but till the polling in Amethi is over, the order is on hold."
The move, however, did not go down well with the opposition parties. The Samajwadi Party (SP) as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have slammed the move.
SP general secretary termed the incident as sad, saying, "It is a sad incident and there is no justification for it. It will demoralise the observer and set a wrong precedent."
The BJP also slammed the move and blamed the Central government for the same, but refrained itself from speaking against the Election Commission.
BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said, "UP for last six years has been witnessing administrative dictatorship. What has happened yesterday is Central government's administrative dictatorship."
Though he further refused to comment on the "constitutional body", but said that the transfer of election officer "is something to look at".
Meanwhile, before the controversy, Robert Vadra had spoken to CNN-IBN over his plans to enter politics and had also reiterated that Rahul Gandhi was not gunning for the the Prime Minister's post.