New Delhi, May 16 : Describing the order by the Election Commission of India curtailing campaigning in West Bengal by 20 hours and restricting it upto 10:00 PM on Thursday as 'a dark spot on India’s Democracy', the Congress on Thursday said the EC had completely lost its Independence and abdicated its Constitutional integrity.
The party said the EC has completely abdicated its Constitutional duty under Art 324 to ensure level playing field, besides negating the due process under Article 14 and 21 of India’s Constitution.
Addressing a press conference here, AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala , alleging that the EC as acting under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the order by the commission was aimed to give a free pass to the two public rallies of Mr Narendra Modi being organized on Thursday afternoon and evening at Mathurapur and Dum Dum?
''Election Commission has completely abdicated its Constitutional duty under Art 324 to ensure level playing field, besides negating the due process under Article 14 and 21 of India’s Constitution.
As a responsible political party, we have never cast unwarranted aspersions on the actions of Constitutional bodies, but we are deeply saddened to say that Election Commission of India has completely lost its Independence and abdicated its Constitutional integrity,''Mr Surjewala said.
Alleging that the EC was acting under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Surjewala said, '' Why did the EC postpone its order prohibiting campaigning by 24 orders uptil 10:00 PM today? Wasn’t EC’s order aimed to solely at giving a free pass to the two public rallies of Mr Narendra Modi being organized today afternoon and evening at Mathurapur and Dum Dum? Can there be a more glaring instance EC’s being muzzled into submission by the ruling party? ''
Charging the EC of having completely abdicated its Constitutional duty under Art 324 to ensure level playing field, he said, ''instead of punishing the goons and hooligans of the BJP led by their president, Amit Shah, Election Commission is punishing Democracy, per se. It has created a fear psychosis by admitting ECI’s inability to hold a free and fair poll. The order of the ECI is an unpardonable betrayal of the Constitution.
Every citizen is questioning the independence, impartiality, objectivity and fairness of the Election Commission today. Has EC become a mere helpless pawn in the hands of Modi-Shah duo? As Democracy is under attack from the ruling BJP, time for ECI to submit before people of India, instead of being stifled by PM Modi and answer its action and conduct to people of India.''
In this context, he alleged that the Congress party filed over 11 complaints with EC against PM Modi and Mr Amit Shah but despite clear dissent in EC’s ranks and it being a clear cut case of brazen violation of MCC, it meekly surrendered to the whims of Mr Narendra Modi and Mr Amit Shah.
''Has the MCC now become ‘Modi Code of Misconduct’ to be applied to BJP’s political opponents, with total immunity for PM and BJP President?
Country has witnessed how the EC has not banned the NaMo TV propaganda machine of the BJP, despite repeated complaints. India also witnessed as to how Prime Minister publicly mocked the EC about complaints being made to it as he violated every letter and word in the MCC everyday.
The flagrant and ugly display of wealth by the ruling BJP drew no response from EC as a Constitutional watchdog. Has the watchdog become subservient to the machinations of the ruling dispensation,''he said.
Mr Surjewala said that the appointment system of the EC needs to be reviewed so as such an institution does not fall prey to the party in power and the working of sch an institution is not at all influenced in any way. (UNI)