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Election Commission is biased, says Nilotpal Basu

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Special Correspondent

"No evidence" to suggest that he has held office of profit

Like BJP member, Basu has also retiredEC "less than transparent" in dealing with Trinamool complaint

NEW DELHI: Accusing the Election Commission of "bias," Nilotpal Basu, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, on Saturday asked it to close the exercise against him on the office-of-profit issue. There was "no iota of evidence" to suggest he held such a post, he told a press conference here.

"They [Commission] have closed the case against Bharatiya Janata Party member Balbir Punj stating that he had retired... ," said Mr. Basu.

He also retired as Rajya Sabha member on April 2.

Not transparent

In his June 2 letter to the Commission, the CPI (M) Central Committee member said it was being "less than transparent" in dealing with the complaint by Trinamool Congress functionary Mukul Roy and granted him a second extension to furnish details.

Objection to letter

Mr. Basu, whom Mr. Roy named as among the 10 MPs allegedly holding offices of profit, also objected to a communication from Commission Secretary K.F. Wilfred.

Mr. Wilfred said Mr. Basu or the other MPs "have not been put to any inconvenience as no notice has been issued" to them.

"I do not know what is your perception of inconvenience... I would not have been put to any inconvenience had the Commission given me and any of my party colleagues notice. Because that could have given us an opportunity to shred to pieces the completely malicious and baseless nature of the complaint. But what the EC has done is worse," Mr. Basu said in the letter, copies of which he released to the press.

Names on website

Mr. Basu said the Commission put up the names of the 10 MPs on its web site even though it had admitted on two occasions in its letter to Mr. Roy that his complaint did not contain any iota of information, which merited consideration.

Media trial

This move, he said, facilitated a media trial of the CPI (M) MPs and they were unilaterally pronounced guilty.

Attaching a copy of a news report, Mr. Basu said: "I am constrained to point out that this is a course which is biased and not expected of a constitutional authority. I do not know whether you are sensitive to public honour or not. But we are."

The Commission should forthwith close the exercise, which "has no factual basis," he said.


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