Top Stories

CEC denies code violation rift, Cong seeks probe into Lavasa charges

Under fire from the Opposition parties over its “biased” approach in conduct of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commisison of India has come under attack from one of its own three members. Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa is learnt to have written to the Chief Election Commissioner that he will be recusing from Election Commission (EC) meetings as his dissent was not being recorded on clearances given by the poll panel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged poll code violations. Demanding a probe into charges made by Lavasa, the Congress on Saturday alleged that eroding institutional integrity has been the hallmark of the Modi Government and asked whether the poll panel has become “Election Omission” and a “puppet” in the PM’s hands. Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora  described as “unsavory” and “avoidable” reports that fellow Lavasa has decided to recuse himself from meetings related to model code violations till he is not allowed to record his dissent. Arora said diversion of views was not new among the members of the Election Commission and that they not expected to be clones of each other. While the Congress hit out at the Modi Government on the EC’s controversy saying erosion of institutional integrity is the hallmark of the present dispensation. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted “The Election Commission or Election Omission! Another Dark Day for Democracy!” Terming the controversy as  “unsavoury and avoidable” CEC Arora said that there have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can, and should be. “Such differences in views largely remained within confines of Election Commission of India (EC) after demission of office unless appearing much later in a book written by concerned ECs/CECs”,” Arora added. “I have personally never shied away from a public debate whenever required but there is a time for everything. There was a reason, I said a few days back in another leading daily that eloquence of silence is always difficult but far more desirable which is far to see the election process through instead of creating ill-timed controversies,” he stated. Arora further highlighted that EC had at its last meeting on May 14 unanimously decided that some groups should be formed to deliberate issues that arose in the course of conduct of Lok Sabha elections 2019 just as it was done after Lok Sabha elections 2014. “Out of 13 issues/areas which were identified, model code of conduct is one of them,” he said. This comes after Lavasa expressed dissent over clean chits for four speeches made by the Prime Minister , and one by BJP president Amit Shah. Lavasa decided to skip meetings to decide on violations of the Model Code of Conduct after his “minority decisions were not recorded”. Some of his objections were related to the clean chit given by the EC to the Prime Minister  in six complaints. No formal order was issued in the said cases and complaints disposed of with a mere reply to the complainant stating that no model code violation was made out. Lavasa’s dissent was not communicated in the said replies.The two were given a clean chit in all the decisions. Lavasa wrote to the CEC Arora thrice, asking for minority opinions to be made part of the orders on MCC issues.In his letters dated May 4, 10 and 14, Lavasa said minority views needed to be included for greater transparency. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said there must be a credible investigation into the issues raised by Lavasa, alleging that the sanctity of the electoral process and the institutional integrity of the Election Commission of India is in jeopardy. Sunday, 19 May 2019 | PNS | New Delhi

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button