‘Members not clones’: CEC slams row over Lavasa dissent, questions timing

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Saturday played down differences in the poll panel saying election commissioners are not “expected to be clones of each other.”

“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,’ Arora said in a statement on election commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s purported letter to him.

“It needs to be clarified categorically and unambiguously that this is purely an internal matter of ECI and as such any speculation, innuendoes and insinuations in this regard should be eschewed. It also needs to be mentioned that a meeting had already been scheduled on Tuesday, i.e., 21.5.2019 to discuss this and related matters,” the statement said.

Lavasa, who has recused himself from meetings where decisions pertaining to the model code of conduct are decided, wrote at least three letters to the CEC to accept his demand for including minority decisions in the poll body’s final orders.

Lavasa, who disagreed with the poll panel’s decision to give clean chits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for alleged MCC violations, recused himself from all such meetings till the commission includes minority decisions in the final orders.

The model code of conduct lays down rules for parties, candidates and governments to abide by during the election period. It starts with the announcement of the election by the poll panel and concludes with the declaration of results.

The poll panel’s decision to clear PM Modi and Amit Shah in all cases of poll code volations was criticised by the opposition parties.

Also read:Ashok Lavasa wrote thrice to EC to record minority view in poll code orders

A former finance secretary, Lavasa differed with the decision of the two other members of the poll body, Arora and election commissioner Sushil Chandra, while deciding on the cases of model code of conduct violations against PM Modi and Amit Shah.

Lavasa had suggested sending a notice to Modi, which wasn’t accepted. There were at least six complaints in which the PM was given a clean chit, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi was let off in one case.

First Published:
May 18, 2019 13:07 IST

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