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CEC suggestion ‘out of bounds,’ says CPI(M)

Special Correspondent

‘It can damage institution of EC’

Polit Bureau seeks rejection of demand

CPI(M) argued for urgent reforms in commission in 2006

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday termed the suo motu recommendation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami to remove Election Commissioner Navin Chawla “out of bounds” and pointed out that it can damage the institution of the Election Commission.

Vital role

The party argued that the Commission played a vital role in the constitutional scheme and parliamentary democratic system.

“Any suspicion that the members of this constitutional body are playing politics will harm the institution. The CEC’s demand should, therefore, be rejected,” the party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement.

It charged that while in power both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have had the narrow approach of putting in place their pet bureaucrats to man the Commission, which led to the denigration of the independent body.

The CPI(M), the statement said, argued for urgent reforms in the Commission in 2006.

This arose after the manner in which the Commission conducted elections to the West Bengal Assembly in May that year.

It said that one of the steps that needed to be taken was to bar former members of the Commission from taking up politically appointed positions or contesting elections.

The Polit Bureau urged all political parties and citizens to consider the reforms necessary to safeguard the institution of the Election Commission.

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