• Friday, March 01, 2024

India Elections

India’s Poll Body Wants To Set New Precedent Of ‘Dark Secrets’, ‘Secluded Chambers’: Opposition

In an important development, Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda, who has won the Sirsa seat, Friday claimed he and the Independents have “decided to extend unconditional support to the BJP” (Photo: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images).

By: Radhakrishna NS

A DAY before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament) election, the Congress on Wednesday (22) termed as “constitutional travesty” the EC’s rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of “dark secrets” and “secluded chambers” in performing its duties.

“A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of ‘dark secrets’ & ‘secluded chambers’ in doing its constitutional duties.

“If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?,” Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.

His comments came a day after the Election Commission (EC) decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.

On Tuesday (21), the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.

The “full commission” of the panel, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two other members Lavasa and Sushil Chandra deliberated on the contentious issue, after which the EC said dissent notes and minority views would remain part of the records but would not be part of its orders.

Lavasa had dissented on a series of clean chits given by the EC to prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on their speeches during the election campaign.

As his demand for recording his dissent notes in EC’s orders was not met, Lavasa recused himself from cases relating to violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

The counting of votes for the just-concluded, seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on Thursday (22).

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