Chawla is biased, president should remove him: BJP (Lead)

January 31st, 2009 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday said that “political detachment” was never a quality of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, whose removal from office has been recommended by Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami.Party general secretary Arun Jaitely told reporters: “Navin Chawla suffers from political bias. He is biased in favour of the ruling party. Political detachment was never a strength or virtue of Chawla.”

The BJP also appealed to President Pratibha Patil to take immediate action for removing Chawla in the “interests of the constitution and democracy”.

“The Election Commission is now mired in controversy. In the backdrop of the general elections, the Election Commission’s credibility could be suspect,” said party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The BJP had submitted a petition to then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2006 seeking the removal of Chawla. It had also approached the apex court on the issue, but to no avail. The petition was withdrawn in 2007.

Gopalaswami’s reported decision has sparked a storm in legal circles, with opinion divided if the head of the election panel acted wisely or not - particularly with only months left for his own retirement on April 20 and the Lok Sabha polls due in April-May.

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