Puducherry

CPI flays Kiran Bedi on State Election Commissioner appointment

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The party also reiterated a demand for the recall of the Lieutenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi’s decision to overrule the appointment of former bureaucrat T. M Balakrishnan as the State Election Commissioner (SEC) by the government has eroded the law-making power of the Legislative Assembly, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India A. M Saleem has said.

In a statement on Friday, Mr. Saleem said the Lt Governor has taken the law “unto herself” in the issue of the appointment of the SEC. The territorial administration was duty bound to hold the local body polls as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

As a first step, the Cabinet put up a file, seeking her sanction to appoint the State Election Commissioner. She ignored the Cabinet recommendation and instead floated an advertisement to appoint the SEC.

Sensing “foul play,” in the appointment, the Speaker gave a direction to the government to immediately appoint the SEC. Following the ruling given by the Speaker, the government appointed Mr Balakrishnan as SEC, the statement said.

“The Lt Governor without consulting the Chief Minister referred the appointment of Mr. Balakrishnan to the Union Home Ministry. As per the Constitutional provisions, the election of local body comes under the State list. Therefore the matter is covered under relevant provisions of the Union Territories Act,” he said.

Concurring with the Chief Minister’ stand that an SEC cannot be removed through executive orders, Mr. Saleem said the action by the Lt Governor was an “infringement of constitutional morality and spirit of democracy.”

The unnecessary feud over appointment of SEC has caused delay in conducting civic polls, he added. The party also reiterated the demand for the recall of Lt Governor.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:09:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/cpi-flays-kiran-bedi-on-state-election-commissioner-appointment/article30543801.ece

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