Our duty ends with advice: poll panel chief

March 24th, 2009 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, March 24 (IANS) Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami Tuesday said it was for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to accept or reject its advisory on withdrawing Varun Gandhi as the party’s candidate in the Lok Sabha polls in view of his alleged anti-Muslim speech.
“We have seen the tape (of Varun Gandhi’s speech). We have issued the advisory,” Gopalaswami said here.

He was speaking to reporters after meeting the state election officials and political parties to review the poll preparedness in Karnataka where polling for the 28 seats will take place in two phases April 23 and 30.

“It is an advice. If it is not taken, our duty ends there,” Gopalaswami said responding to questions on the BJP’s assertion that Gandhi will be the party’s nominee from Philibit in Uttar Pradesh.

The Election Commission Sunday indicted Gandhi of breaching the model code of conduct while making anti-Muslim speeches in Uttar Pradesh and asked the BJP not to field him as a candidate.

Gopalaswami indicated the laws as they stand now do not empower the commission to pass a binding order on such issues. The commission has done whatever was permissible under the law, he said.

He arrived here in the morning on a day’s visit to meet the officials and political parties followed by discussion with deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of 17 constituencies going to polls April 23.

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