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Election Commission wants to set new precedent of 'dark secrets': Congress

The EC has decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the full commission

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 22.05.19, 1:21 PM
  • Updated 22.05.19, 1:21 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Ashok Lavasa at a polling booth, during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls, in New Delhi, on May 12, 2019. (PTI)

A day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday termed as "constitutional travesty" the Election Commission's rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa's demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of "dark secrets" and "secluded chambers" in performing its duties.

"A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of 'dark secrets' & 'secluded chambers' in doing its constitutional duties.

"If CEC can't play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?," Randeep Surjewala, Congress's chief spokesperson wrote on Twitter.

His comments came a day after the EC decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the "full commission", overruling Lavasa.

On Tuesday, the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa's demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.

The "full commission" of the panel of Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two other members -- Lavasa and Sushil Chandra -- deliberated on the contentious issue, after which the EC said dissent notes and minority views would remain part of the records but would not be part of its orders.

Lavasa had dissented on a series of clean chits given by the EC to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on their speeches during the election campaign.

As his demand for recording his dissent notes in EC's orders was not met, Lavasa recused himself from cases relating to violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

The counting of votes for the just-concluded, seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on Thursday.