Election Commissioners in a Battle

chawlaThe Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy’s letter to the President of India requesting her to remove Navin Chawla from the election commission has created constitutional crisis. The script was written in 2006 when these three election commissioners were appointed. By seniority N. Gopalaswamy was eligible to be the CEC (Chief Election Commissioner). Apart from accepting seniority and legal norms, the UPA government appointed Navin Chawla as one of the election commissioners. For decades Chawla courted several controversies. During his four decades service in bureaucracy Chawla was known for many wrong reasons. During emergency period Chawla aided Sanjay Gandhi in the infamous population decontrol measures. He was charged as a highhanded officer in those dark days. After Sanjay Gandhi’s demise Chawla gone to the backstage without much noise. With such strong connections with the first family of Congress it is natural for Chawla to act in a congress favorable manner. The authorized biographer of Mother Theresa – Navin Chawla is once again in the eye of the public storm. Knowing well the biased behaviour of Chawla, BJP opposed his nomination from the day one. This was left unheard by then President APJ Abdul Kalam. Then the NDA raked up earlier Congress government’s monetary favors to Chawla’s wife run trusts. Sooner or later that issue too died down. When the general election is nearing and Chawla is waiting to take the reins of CEC, N. Gopalaswamy had accused his colleague of one party bais and expressed doubts over his neutral conduct during the elections. To achieve his plan to remove Chawla from the election commission, CEC had written a letter to the president Prathiba Patill requesting to remove him from the powerful post. Although Patil may not succumb to the pressure letter of CEC it has created unease over the neutral conduct of the election commission. Once again it has exposed the party of the day’s control and interference in the constitutional bodies functioning. This objectivity-breaking attitude of the political class is highly detrimental to the steady growth of the nation. With a lot of hard work and luck election commission was relieved from the clutches of the government control. T.N.Seshan gave the spinal cord to the election commission in the early nineties. From then it is functioning with less controversies and more effectively. Gopalaswamy and Chawla discord is two years old. In his 24 page letter to the President with 68 documents to support, the present CEC wants Chawla to be sacked to ensure the objective conduct of the election commission. Efforts to extend President’s rule in Karnataka, contradictory behaviour of Chawla in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections are stated to be the negative behaviour of incoming CEC Chawla. Already the political interference had spoiled CBI, Intelligence Bureau and other important government machineries. With sensible leaders like Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi at the central command the vital these institutions should be touched with political intentions. If these leaders public expressions about safeguarding pillars of governance were true then all efforts must be made to checkmate any dilution of the constitutional bodies like CEC. Constitutional experts like Fali S. Nariman and Shanti Bhusan censored CEC’s move “Had he done a year earlier it might have been considered a bonafide compliant but unfortunately he had done it now when the ordinary people believe that there is some political motivation”. It seems that N. Gopalaswamy sings L.K.Advani’s tunes very strongly. Due to the proximity to the BJP leader Gopalaswamy got appointed as CEC. By inserting Navin Chawla in the election commission in 2006, Congress had cleverly charted its election course. It may be with an intention to rig the election with the help of its man at the helm or control opposition from taking control of the election. In most of the cases it is the former that gets top priority. According to the article 324(5) only the president of India can remove the election commissioner. As these positions are totally political at present there is no possibility of neutrality. Only one can wish the continued smoothness and fairness in the conduct of Lok Sabha election in 2009.

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1 Comment

  1. Mustang said,

    +00002009-02-02T15:18:30+00:00282009bUTCMon, 02 Feb 2009 15:18:30 +0000 2, 2008 at 7.27 p02

    Please read today’s papers to see why the report was filed this late. Lets not blame the CEC for doing his job.


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