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Poll Panel not dealing with actions impacting fair elections: letter

Poll Panel not dealing with actions impacting fair elections: letter

New Delhi: Stating that the Election Commission is showing a strange diffidence in dealing with actions that impact the conduct of free and fair elections, a group of 87 former civil servants on Thursday wrote an open letter to the poll panel on Thursday. They expressed concern about the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case while elections is around, Scroll reported.

They, who are part of the Constitutional Conduct Group, wrote that the poll panel is not using the enormous powers vested in it by the Constitution to take act against actions that hamper free and fair elections.

They mentioned the pattern of harassment and witch-hunting of Opposition parties and rival politicians when the Lok Sabha elections were just weeks away, and called it disturbing.

"The arrest of a senior Opposition political functionary at a juncture when the Lok Sabha elections had been announced, and the Model Code of Conduct was in place reeks, to our mind, of deliberate, motivated executive action," Scroll quoted the letter. "The law must take its course, as many legal worthies today never tire of saying, but the heavens would not have fallen if coercive action had been initiated after the end of the election process on June 4."

The letter wondered why the Income Tax Department must reopen old assessments of the Indian National Congress and other opposition parties on the eve of a general election.

The group wrote that given the "tardy record of the central law enforcement agencies in completing investigations and filing charge sheets, the undue zeal in selectively pursuing these cases gives rise to the suspicion that the motivation goes beyond a mere desire to enforce justice."

Finally, the group accused the EC of not putting effort into assuaging the public's doubt over the integrity of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs).

Finally, they pointed out that EC is not effectively enforcing the Model Code of Conduct and its "misuse" by the BJP.

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TAGS:Election CommissionIndia newsLok Sabha elections 2024
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