The Congress party has termed a “constitutional travesty” as 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. These comments from the party comes a day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election
“A Constitutional travesty! If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?” Congress’ chief spokesperson and Communications-in- charge Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.
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?https://t.co/RGFTpE0sGb
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 22, 2019
His comments came a day after the EC decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.
On Tuesday, 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.