The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP government in Haryana of appointing party-linked people to the state public service commission to announce vacancies ahead of elections and sought the Election Commission's intervention in the matter.
A delegation of Congress leaders led by former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state party chief Kumari Selja along with Abhishek Manu Singhvi met the poll panel and handed over a memorandum to them.
"The officials of the Haryana Public Service Commission and Haryana Staff Selection Commission have repeatedly been acting as political agents of the BJP government in the state," the party alleged in the memorandum.
"BJP office-bearers, and secretaries to BJP MPs and ministers have been appointed to the Haryana Public Service Commission. They have been made chairmen and members to control the commission," Singhvi alleged after meeting EC officials.
"By appointing such people, efforts are made to announce vacancies even when the model code of conduct is in force. During the Jind bypoll, around 18,000 vacancies were announced. Such announcements are aimed at affecting the outcome of the elections," he further alleged.
Indirectly, the commission sends out a message to people to vote for a particular party, he claimed, adding nobody has a problem if the vacancies are announced four to six weeks after the elections.
Singhvi also claimed that many officials in the HPSC have been facing serious criminal charges, including of bribery.
"We have also complained to the poll panel that the Haryana government has not shown any seriousness and swiftness in these cases. More efforts have been made to protect the accused than to prosecute them," he alleged, adding all these efforts are aimed at disturbing the level-playing field in the elections.
"We request the commission to utilise its power under Article 324 of the Constitution and pass immediate directions to prevent the state government from misusing any officials or agencies," the party said in the memorandum.
Kumari Selja claimed the Haryana government misused the "announcement of vacancies for campaigning during the Jind bypoll which is against the principles of democracy".
"We fear that such announcements can be made in the future too. The integrity of the HPSC is questionable," she said.
Hooda alleged that out of the 1,800 appointments made during the Jind bypoll, 1,500 employees have been removed. "Those vacancies were only meant to garner votes." Haryana is likely to go to elections in the next few months.