As Many 66 former civil servants have given a petition to the President that the Election Commission has lost its credibility and he should ensure fair and free Lok Sabha elections.
The top babus, including former Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, retired Cabinet Secretary V Balachandran and former top Mumbai cop Julian Ribeiro, have in their five-page petition specifically cited nine instances involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show that the EC’s independence and impartiality have been compromised .
They have referred to Modi’s public announcement on March 27 about the successful launch of India’s first anti-satellite weapon ( A-Sat). They have said the announcement should have been made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the agency which has developed it. Moreover, when the country is facing no immediate threat to its security, there is no need for the Prime Minister himself to have made the announcement, more so when the model code is in force and he himself is a candidate.
They have regretted that the EC has on the technical ground held there is no violation of the code as he did not use the public broadcasting service. (.Modi took to the tweet to broadcast to the nation).
They have also faulted the EC for failing to check the release of Modi’s biopic. It is due for release on April 11. They have called it “a back-door effort to garner publicity”.
They have said the entire expenses on the production and distribution of the film as well money spent on its publicity should be added to Modi’s election expenditure
The same principle should be applied to the 10-part web series, Modi: A common man’s journey”, the first five parts of which are already streaming on Eros platform.
The EC has done nothing except “going through the motion of calling for details”. The EC is acting with the same lethargy in regard to the NaMo TV launched on March 31 without the formal approval of the Information Ministry, they have charged.
They have said the Prime Minister’s “divisive speeches” and his comments that the Congress has insulted the Hindus and its leaders are afraid of contesting in Hindu majority constituencies are all violative of the model code and the EC has done nothing about it.
They have told the President that as a result of EC’s weak-kneed response to flagrant violations of the code by the ruling party at the Centre, its credibility has touched an all- time low and he should intervene to ensure free and fair elections.