Lalu opposes bureaucrats as election commissioners

February 1st, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyPatna, Feb 1 (IANS) Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Sunday said that he did not favour appointment of retired bureaucrats as election commissioners. “Retired bureaucrats should not be appointed as election commissioners. I am against it,” Lalu Prasad told reporters here.

An ugly row erupted inthe Election Commission Saturday ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami recommending the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on grounds that he was partisan. Chawla refused to step down as Election Commisisoner.

“We will not allow appointment of retired bureaucrats in future and if we return to power, we will change this trend,” Lalun Prasad said.

He, however, rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demand for immediate removal of Chawla from the poll panel.

“Only a full bench of the Supreme Court has the power to remove (an) election commissioner or he can be impeached,” Lalu said.

“The election commissioner is a constitutional post and there are established rules and regulations for it,” Lalu said.

Chawla is tipped to succeed Gopalaswami as CEC, being the senior of the other two commissioners.

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