New Delhi, May 22: Former heads of the Election Commission have asked the poll panel to take note of the controversies surrounding its functioning and also fix the problems plaguing it, said a report.Also Read - EC Bans Poll Rallies For The Remaining Of The Elections in West Bengal
According to The Indian Express, the issue was discussed at a meeting of former chief election commissioners (CECs) with current commissioners OP Rawat, Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Arora on Monday. Former-CECs MS Gill, JM Lyngdoh, TS Krishnamurthy, BB Tandon, SY Quraishi, VS Sampath, HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi, and former Election Commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy attended the meeting, said the report. Also Read - West Bengal Election 2021: Mamata Banerjee Stages Dharna in Kolkata to Protest EC's 24-Hour Campaign Ban
“The questions raised about the Commission’s image were discussed. Irrespective of whether these questions are legitimate or not, the former Chief Election Commissioners felt that the Commission should try to get to the root of why this is happening and address it,” Quraishi told The Indian Express. Also Read - 'Factually incorrect': EC on Mamata Banerjee's Claims About Presence of Outsiders at Nandigram Polling Booth
The EC, under AK Joti as CEC, had faced a lot of flak when it de-linked the announcement of polls in Himachal Pradesh from Gujarat and sent its opinion to the President in the office-of-profit case against AAP MLAs without holding hearings on the complaint. The Delhi High Court, subsequently, said the EC had failed to “comply with the principles of natural justice” when it disqualified 20 AAP MLAs and even “quashed” the disqualification.
“The former CECs also felt that the Commission should come down hard on politicians indulging in hate speech and violations of the Model Code of Conduct. There was unanimity on the suggestion to find ways for reducing the number of polling phases in an election,” Quraishi added.