‘Election Commission should be disbanded and its members probed,’ says Anand Sharma

Congress leader Anand Sharma. File   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, on Monday lashed out at the Election Commission of India (EC) for being ‘partisan’ and asserted that present poll body should be disbanded as it allegedly “betrayed the trust of voters”.

He also suggested that the Supreme Court should decide the criteria for a persona to qualify for the position of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioner (EC).

"The present Election Commission should be disbanded and actions of its members probed. The EC has disgraced itself and voters trust betrayed. A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court should decide on the composition, qualifying criteria for the appointment of CEC and EC's and firm guidelines for the conduct of free and fair elections as per the Constitution,” Mr Sharma said in a statement, a day after results of Assembly elections to four States and one Union Territory came out.

The senior Congress leader said that the conduct of the EC during the recent elections has raised ‘serious concerns’ and accused the Commission of violating its Constitutional mandate under Article 324 to conduct free and fair polls.

“Blatantly partisan, its actions in Bengal were shocking and condemnable. There have been instances where it acted as a willing accomplice of the BJP," he alleged.

Mr Sharma said that the EC must be held accountable for “fuelling” the surge in COVID cases and increasing sufferings of the people by allowing unrestricted mass rallies and violating COVID protocols.

"Cosmetic restriction for the last phase after the fire had spread, fooled no one but insulted the wisdom of citizens," he added .

Mr Sharma’s attack on the poll panel follows the Trinamool Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee pointing fingers at the EC for having a prolonged poll schedule.

Recently, the Madras High Court had made an observation that EC officials concerned should probably be tried on murder charges for their failure to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the election process in four States and a Union Territory.

The poll panel, however, had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s remarks, calling them ‘uncalled for, disparaging and derogatory’.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:02:38 AM |

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