Poll panel split over PM clean chit

Poll panel split over PM clean chit


Dissensions within the Election Commission of India have come out in the open over the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) before the polling for the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha  polling on Sunday, with one Election Commissioner deciding to excuse himself from the proceedings.

Expressing his dissent on the 'clean chit' to four speeches made by the Prime Minister and one by the BJP president, the Election Commissioner, Mr.  Ashok Lavasa is learnt to have dashed off  a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. Sunil Arora, stating that he is being forced to stay away from the meetings of the Full Commission since 'minority decisions' were not being recorded.

It is learnt that after receiving the letter, Mr. Arora sought a meeting with Mr. Lavasa. Though it is not known whether it did take place actually and what transpired, Mr. Arora, when contacted, said, 'I haven’t received the letter yet. I have been at home because I am unwell.'

Sources said Mr. Lavasa’s letter underlines the fact that he had conveyed last month, through repeated reminders, that 'minority decisions' related to the MCC should also find mention in the final orders. However, he alleged, such decisions failed to find mention in the final order.

Claiming that these orders continue to be suppressed in contravention of the established conventions of multi-member statutory bodies, Mr. Lavasa’s letter states that his participation in the deliberations becomes meaningless since his 'minority decisions' go unrecorded.