NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Tuesday said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has never worked on the diktat of anyone nor will it in the future. The assertion of the CEC came following allegations levelled by the Congress that the poll panel was working at the behest of the ruling BJP for the delimitation of 126 Assembly and 14 Parliamentary seats of Assam.
”It’s not new for us, we have to hear such words. It is never possible to dictate anything to us. Our record is such that we never take dictation from anyone and never will,” Kumar said.
The ECI has been able to maintain its impeccable record by remaining firm on its two foundations – discourse and participation of stakeholders, he told a press conference here at the end of his three-day visit to the state ahead of delimitation of constituencies.
The two election commissioners, Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel, accompanied him. The Congress refused to meet the ECI team and submit their representation over the proposed delimitation, alleging that the panel had failed to address queries raised before it earlier. State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Bora accused the ECI of ‘match fixing’ while carrying out the process of redrawing constituencies.
Whether it is the election process or delimitation exercise, all decisions and reasons thereof are shared with the people and involvement of political parties is ensured at all levels, the CEC asserted.
”In case of delimitation also, the draft will be published and discussions held again,” he added. Kumar said the Congress had met the ECI in January over the delimitation issue and the concerns raised by it were almost the same as those put forth by other parties and organisations before it here.
The opposition Congress on Monday boycotted the hearing on the delimitation exercise in Assam alleging that it did not receive any response from the ECI on its allegation that the state cabinet had a “mala fide intention” in merging four districts with others.
The Congress asserted that the creation of new administrative units was banned by the EC from January one, 2023, because of the delimitation process. However, the state cabinet at a meeting in New Delhi decided to merge four districts and redraw boundaries in 14 places just one day earlier, on December 31, 2022.
”Almost all the opposition parties condemned the move and accused the ruling party of attempting to redraw Muslim majority seats in Assam to benefit itself and also to spark religious polarisation,” Bora had claimed on Monday.
Source: Press Trust of India