Poll panel rejects BJP charge that it was timid and weak in taking decisions

The Election Commission on Saturday rejected any differences at the top as sought to be suggested by EC H.S. Brahma and dismissed the BJP charge that it was timid and weak in taking decisions.

The Commission also rejected any bias in allowing the road show by Rahul Gandhi and U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav but denying permission for Narendra Modi to address a public meeting in his constituency from a venue of BJP’s choice on Wednesday in a communally sensitive area.

In an interview to PTI, Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath pointed out that Mr. Brahma is also party to all the decisions and any attack on the Commission applied to all of them.

He strongly defended the decision of the Returning Officer of Varanasi and ruled out his removal from the constituency which will witness polling on Monday.

He dismissed allegations of partisan approach in quickly ordering filing a complaint against Mr. Modi in Gandhinagar while seeking a report in case of Mr. Gandhi for alleged violation of voting secrecy in Amethi.

“The top leadership comprising all three Commissioners functions, acts as a team and it is discharging its constitutional responsibilities with firmness and with the required promptitude.

“We also strongly deny that there are any differences among ourselves. All decisions, including in this issue relating to Varanasi meeting venue, all decisions have been taken only unanimously.

“We have no difference whatsoever. In fact, the decisions we have taken about Varanasi, the full Commission held a press conference on May 8 in which all these decisions were explained to the entire media.