EC to Revisit Clearance Given to PMO in Violation of MCC
| Rohit – Copy Editor cum Reporter – IOP, Delhi - 19 May 2019

By Rohit

Indian Observer Post

New Delhi, 19 May 2019: The Election Commission on Sunday decided to revisit its clean chit given to the NITI Aayog and Prime Minister’s Office over an alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), after Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recused himself from the poll panel.

The Election Commission has said the 'full commission' will meet on Tuesday, 21 May, to discuss the issue of dissent and "related matters". The decision to hold a meeting came soon after Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa decided to recuse himself from meetings after his model code of conduct (MCC) complaints became public.

Last week, the poll panel had disposed of a Congress party’s complaint alleging misuse of the NITI Aayog by the PMO for gathering information on Gondia, Wardha, and Latur ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi election rallies there. However, the deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep at a press conference on May 12 had stated that the EC had found no merit in the complaint.

Lavasa had differed with the Chief Election Commissioner in some of the 11 decisions, the CEC took in respect to complaints against PM Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for alleged MCC violation. In a letter to CEC Arora written on 4 May, Lavasa expressed his displeasure over the fact that his decision was not recorded.

In response to Lavasa’s dissent, CEC Sunil Arora called the entire episode as unsavory and avoidable. “The three members of EC are not expected to be template or clones of each other, there have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can, and should be,” said Mr. Arora.

Lavasa had opposed five clearances that the poll panel gave to Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah in complaints of Model Code of Conduct violations. The commission has given Modi clearances in six such cases altogether.

However, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra felt the Congress’ complaint was without basis, as the exemption had been granted to the prime minister on October 7, 2014, to combine official and electioneering visits.

Soon after the news of Lavasa’s recusal came out, the opposition parties sought the dissenting opinion of election commissioner to be made public. ‘’Make public Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa's dissent,’’ CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.

Image credit: The Hindu


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