UPA violating constitution, dictating terms to EC: BJP

February 3rd, 2009 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday accused the Congress-led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of violating the constitution and dictating terms to the Election Commission.”The Congress, in particular, is behaving like the boss and as if it is thinking that when the government appointed him (Chief Election Commissioner), it has the right to remove him”, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told reporters here Tuesday.

A controversy had erupted after Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami wrote to President Pratibha Patil last month recommending the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on the ground he was not impartial.

Jaitley said the posts of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioner were constitutional posts and “our constitution clearly lays out the process of removal or change of such posts.”

While the CEC could be removed by impeachment, a commissioner could be removed on the CEC’s recommendation,” Jaitley clarified.

Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj Monday said that since the government appointed the Chief Election Commissioner, it had the right to remove him. Bharadwaj maintained that Chawla would be the new CEC after Gopalaswami retires April 20.

“Bharadwaj is openly stating that Chawla will be the next CEC. We cannot make out how has he got the authority to do so,” Jaitely said and added “political executives” could not interfere with constitutional institutions.

He said this was a matter of concern for the BJP as well as the country.

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