Special Correspondent

Decision after examining all issues

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Saturday discussed threadbare the replies sent by the BJP’s Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency candidate Varun Gandhi and BJP’s national and U.P. State presidents on Mr. Gandhi’s alleged “anti-Muslim” speeches and adjourned without taking any decision.

“No decision has been taken.” The matter required further consideration and a decision would be taken after examining all issues, said EC sources after an hour-long meeting here.

However, an official said no time frame could be set for deciding on the matter.

He also declined to give details of the meeting when asked whether the Commission watched the CD once again following Mr. Gandhi’s assertion that it was doctored.

The Commission — Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi — which returned to Delhi on Saturday after reviewing poll preparedness in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar, also short-listed two of the five names forwarded by the Andhra Pradesh government for appointment in the place of State DGP S.S.P. Yadav, who was shifted on the orders of the Commission for violating the poll code and speaking in praise of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy recently.

The official said that they had asked for some more inputs about the two officers and the decision on appointing one as the DGP would be taken in a day or two.

Mr. Gopalaswami had already gone on record stating that the onus was on Mr. Gandhi to prove that the tapes were doctored.

While Mr. Gandhi, in his reply to the EC’s notice, had claimed that the CD was tampered with and it was released as part of a conspiracy to harm his political career, the BJP leaders responded by stating that even if the allegations against him (Mr. Gandhi) were true, it (the party) should not be held accountable or responsible for anything that a party man might have said.

The BJP had said it “completely disagrees [with], dissociates [from] and disapproves [of]” the contents of the alleged CD.

The BJP also wanted the Commission to enquire into the charge made by Mr. Gandhi that the CD was tampered with.

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