Is the EC brazenly political & partisan?

via published on April 10, 2007



 ‘The English Constitution says that the ‘King Can Do Nothing Wrong’. According to the Election Commission of India Sonia Gandhi Can Do Nothing Wrong and L.K.Advani Nothing Right’ – Ennapadam Boisterous Boloji.


 The Election Commission has issued a notice to the President of the BJP asking why the Party should not be derecognised for having produced and released a CD on the eve of the Assembly Elections in UP. According to the partisan view of the Election Commission, this is a controversial CD, which contains inflammatory material. An FIR was lodged against Rajnath Singh, BJP President at the Hazratgunj police station in Lucknow on the direction of the Election Commission after complaints were received against the BJP Party over the controversial CD, which allegedly contained inflammatory material. Taking an aggressive stand on the CD controversy, the BJP has accused its political rivals of orchestrating ‘the entire episode’ and forcing the Election Commission to order an FIR against Rajnath Singh.


What is most surprising is that a known Sonia loyalist and a page boy of her Royal Family and a bosom friend of Sanjay Gandhi during the dark days of Emergency in 1975-77, should be sitting in judgment as an Election Commissioner issuing notice to the BJP Party. When he was appointed as an Election Commissioner in 2006, more than 205 Members of Parliament presented a petition against him to the President and Prime Minister, giving a graphic account of his official misdeeds right from the days of Emergency and seeking his removal from the Constitutional Post of Election Commissioner in the larger public interest. Our disgraceful surrogate Prime Minister, instead of forwarding that petition to the Chief Election Commissioner, referred the matter for the political scrutiny of a servile Attorney General who gave a certificate of Congress political fitness to Navin Chawla. Even Soli Sorabji, the former Solicitor General of India, had rightly suggested in 2006 that Navin Chawla should step down.


Any other self respecting Public Servant would have refused himself from hearing the politically foisted CD case against the BJP now listed for Wednesday (tomorrow). The BJP has rightly demanded this move from Navin Chawla on the even more formidable ground that a petition against Navin Chawla is pending in the Supreme Court.


In a Press Statement issued on 8 April, 2006, L K Advani (Leader of the Opposition of the Lok Sabha) indicted Navin Chawla in these words: ‘One of the principal aims is to alert the people of India on how the UPA government has been undermining our democratic system by misusing the various institutions of democracy’.


 ‘A case in point is the UPA government’s decision to appoint Shri Navin Chawla, an officer with a highly questionable reputation, as member of the Election Commission. It is now becoming increasingly evident that all constitutional norms are being flouted with impunity by the UPA government to shield Shri Chawla, so that his services can be used for partisan purposes’.


‘It is to be recalled that on 16 March, 2006 a comprehensive memorandum was submitted to the President signed by 205 Members of Parliament to take action against Shri Chawla. The memorandum to the President presented well-documented information about not only his pro-Congress bias, but also his involvement in improper financial dealings. His close proximity to the Congress Party in general and to Shrimati Sonia Gandhi in particular is well known. Therefore, we affirmed that he was not expected to act in a free and fair manner and there was a very reasonable basis of bias in his conduct’.


‘The President forwarded the memorandum to the Prime Minister on 20 March. It is indeed curious that the Prime Minister is sitting over this even though he has no role at all because under Article 324(5) of the Constitution the President can take action against any Election Commissioner only upon the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner’.


‘I am surprised that instead of sending the complaint immediately to the Chief Election Commissioner, the Prime Minister has reportedly taken the advice of the Attorney General. The matter is not of technicality, but of propriety. The past conduct of Shri Chawla cannot be divorced from his present status as a member of the Election Commission because he cannot be expected to act in an unbiased manner’.


‘All these glaring pass misdeeds cannot be ignored in Shri Chawla’s appointment to the high constitutional office of the Election Commission. As an Election Commissioner, his questionable past can seriously impinge on his neutrality to act in a free and fair manner’.


‘As per the Constitution, the authority to examine the allegations against Shri Chawla is the Chief Election Commissioner and he alone. Only his recommendation can be considered by the President. Dr Manmohan Singh or his government has no role in this matter’.


 ‘I therefore demand that the memorandum against Shri Chawla signed by 205 MPs and addressed to the President be sent to the Chief Election Commissioner immediately. The BJP strongly condemns this rank unconstitutional behaviour of the UPA government and would be constrained to approach the President again in this matter’.


Against this background, any III class Court of Law can easily draw a reasonable Judicial Inference that Navin Chawla is perhaps abusing his brief official authority as Election Commissioner to settle his personal scores with L K Advani and his Party.


An English Daily from Madras, once described by Nehru as an old lady with a past and a matronly amplitude, and viewed today as a known and a sworn enemy of Hinduism and Sanartana Dharma, has rendered a great national service by going out of its way by presenting a few excerpts from the script of the controversial CD under the title ‘Bharat ki Pukar’ (‘The Call of India’). I am presenting below some excerpts:


‘Mother India is today screaming aloud: Oh my sons, save me from being fragmented again. No longer have I the strength to be enslaved once more. By using the terrorists, spreading fear and dividing us, they want to break India. Hungry for political power, they are egging them on. They have forgotten what the consequences of this will be. Now, ordinary people of India have to think; do they want slavery again in their independent India?’


‘The present government is giving full support to butchers. Cruel atrocities are being committed on Gaumata. They abduct our girls, and if we say we are going to the police, then those people threaten us. Love in Jihad, harm to Hindu Dharma, and forced conversion: This is the protection provided by the government. Politicians are the agents of the anti-nationals’…We must live and die for the nation. Just as the slogan of Vande Mataram inspired us to throw out the British, today we have to take an oath to drive the traitors out of the country. Elections are coming and only your votes can help this country and the Hindu Dharma can be saved. Otherwise we are standing in the jaws of slavery again’.


In my view there is nothing provocative or explosive in the above excerpts. Why is the Election Commission getting excited about nothing? What is the imperative national need that impels the Election Commission to function as an Election agent of the Congress Party as alleged by the BJP President Rajnath Singh? The answer to these questions is simple. What was Sanjay Gandhi to Indra Gandhi during the draconian days of Emergency in 1975-77, Navin Chawla of the Election Commission is to Sonia Gandhi today. It has been reported that his political control over the Election Commission is total and unquestioned within the system. It is also publicly known that his colleague S Y Qureshi, as one belonging to the weakest minority community even according to Justice Rajinder Sachar, humbly submits to the ‘political’ will of Navin Chawla. Navin Chawla has been an open supporter of Indra Gandhi family from 1980s.


Many in New Delhi feel that S Y Qureshi is a silent and no less willing partner of Navin Chawla. Many of the MPs from different political parties have told me that these two Commissioners in absolute majority are in a powerful position to call all the Sonia Congress-directed ‘Constitutional Shots’ (!) against the BJP and other opposition parties today. I understand that Gopalaswamy, the Chief Election Commissioner, is finding it more difficult to deal with his two Congress-embracing Election Commissioners than with all the unscrupulous political parties!


To quote the brilliant words of Capt. Balakrishnan: ‘My posers to the Election Commission are: (a) why is Rahul Gandhi’s statement in Deoband on the so called Babri Masjid, not being treated at par as the BJP CD? (b) Is it perfectly ‘secular’ for ‘Maulana’ Singh Yadav to state at an election rally: ‘Kitne Yadav hain hath uthao Jo Bundela (SP candidate) ko vote denge (Yadavs raise hands who will vote for Bundela)? (c) During the last Bihar Assembly elections posters depicting post-Godhra riots were displayed in Bhagalpur and Kishanganj districts of Bihar and CDs containing footage of the incidents were on display in Purnea by the ‘secular’ RJD.(d)In the same Bihar elections, posters were displayed depicting Goddess Durga killing Vajpayee and Advani.


The idol of the RJD chief – with his silver hair intact – was depicted holding a sudarshan chakra, the celestial weapon of Lord Krishna; his wife Chief Minister Rabri Devi was made to look alike Goddess Durga holding a trident and in a bright yellow sari; and Sonia Gandhi was projected as deity of sacrifice with a bow and arrow in her hands…… SECULAR HYPOCRICY’ in India has to be ‘lived through’ to be believed!!


T S Krishnamurthy, the former Election Commissioner has rightly said on behalf of all the citizens of India: ‘If all the Electoral Rules are ruthlessly implemented by the Election Commission in letter and spirit then all the political parties in India will have to be derecognized forth with’ (Sonia Congress not excluded – the words within brackets mine!).


(The writer is a retired IAS officer)

e-mail the writer at [email protected]

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