BJP has no right to talk of constitutional bodies: Congress

February 3rd, 2009 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party has no right to speak about upholding the credibility of constitutional bodies, the Congress said Tuesday, alleging that the BJP had a poor track record on this count. “The BJP has a history of attacking democratic institutions,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters at his residence.

He was responding to the BJP’s allegation earlier in the day that the Congress was dictating terms on the Election Commission and violating the constitution by questioning Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami’s powers to recommend removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla.

Sibal said: “The BJP has in the past attacked (then) CEC J.M. Lyngdoh and also the Supreme Court. The BJP wants every institution to adopt its line of thinking.”

He was referring to the 2002 assembly elections in Gujarat when Chief Minister Narendra Modi had frequent spats with Lyngdoh, who had doubted the possibility of a free and fair poll in the state in the wake of communal violence there.

Sibal rejected the BJP’s charges and said the Congress was not interfering with the work of any constitutional institution.

“We are not interfering with the Election Commission and due constitutional process will be followed,” he said.

Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj Monday said that in the same way the government had the right to appoint the CEC, it could also remove him. He had also said that Chawla would be the next CEC after the incumbent retires April 20.

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