New Delhi: The Election Commission of India on Tuesday came down heavily on Congress party and told Supreme Court that it is not bound to conduct elections as per the wishes of grand old party and its leaders. “The Congress party cannot approach the Supreme Court time and again and interfere in its functioning,” the poll panel said in a counter affidavit, filed before the apex court against Congress leader Kamal Nath’s plea seeking transparency and accountability in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan state assembly elections. Also Read - Love Jihad Will Not Be Allowed In Madhya Pradesh At Any Cost, Says CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan | WATCH
Earlier, the top court had asked the ECI to file a response on the petition filed by Congress leader. In its response, the poll panel also asserted that the Congress party cannot seek to instruct or direct the autonomous body to conduct elections in a particular manner. Also Read - Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Pays Last Respects to Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi
In the 101-page counter affidavit, a copy of which has been accessed by news agency ANI, the poll body demanded dismissal of the Congress’ petition. “No valid and tenable grounds have been shown by the petitioner, Kamal Nath, to justify the grant of the interim relief (as prayed for) in his favour. Thus, the said petition sought to be dismissed outright,” the counter affidavit read. Also Read - Congress Leader Ahmed Patel's Last Rites To Be Held At His Native Village In Gujarat's Bharuch
In a previous hearing of the case, Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioner Kamal Nath had made claims about a large number of fake voters being registered in Madhya Pradesh electoral rolls.
“There are 60 lakh duplicate voters in the state of Madhya Pradesh and thereby the Supreme Court should pass some direction in the matter,” Singhvi had said in the apex court.
Filed on August 10, the petition also sought the apex court’s intervention demanding a direction to the ECI regarding compulsory cross-verification of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) vote count with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the Madhya Pradesh polls, scheduled for later this year.
(With inputs from agencies)