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'Timid Men Can Dwarf High Offices'

'I cannot conceal my disappointment with the Election Commission. Men in constitutional offices need to be bolder,' says the BJP leader, making the CEC respond with a presser

'Timid Men Can Dwarf High Offices'
'Timid Men Can Dwarf High Offices'
outlookindia.com
2019-04-17T17:58:20+0530

I cannot conceal my disappointment with the Election Commission. Men in constitutional offices need to be bolder. Timid men can dwarf high offices.

The Election Commission scrutinizes us all the time. They are extremely vigilant in tackling the side shows in the elections. They are concerned with what adjectives are used by whom.

But when it comes to preventing booth capturing which has reappeared after a decade in elections 2014 they are out of their depth.

By condoning the Returning Officer’s stand on ‘No-Modi rally’ in Varanasi city the Election Commission has used the security card to prevent Narendra Modi’s right to campaign in his constituency.

If you can’t ensure security, don’t hold the polls in the country. But if you do hold the polls please provide a level playing field.

You cannot deny the candidate the right to campaign.

Rahul Gandhi can have a road show in Varanasi but Narendra Modi cannot have a rally.

The security card is selectively used.

The Falsehood of the Returning Officer3

  • Of all the permissions given to us by the Returning Officer, two are for the landing of the helicopter. How very fair. One helicopter has been allowed to land twice—once in the rural area and once in the city.
     
  • I withdrew all applications at 20:10 hours yesterday since it is impossible to organize a function the next day if a “mid night” permission comes. He allowed a prayer permission after 48 hours of struggle and an oral refusal earlier.
     
  • To meet a 150 eminent citizens at a hotel banquet hall he earlier said that Shri Modi cannot be allowed to drive into the city. Two hours after I withdrew all applications, he announced to the media that he was allowing Shri Modi to meet 150 people. How very liberal. These are all the permissions with regard to the campaigning in the city. Modi’s entire campaign in Varanasi city is restricted to a prayer at the Ganga Ghat and meeting 150 persons in a hotel. Additionally there are two helicopter landings.
     
  • Can he produce any document that the BJP had agreed to an alternate site which is much smaller? No.
     
  • If the Election Commission chooses to believe such a Returning Officer and feels that this is not a denial of opportunity to campaign, my right to Satyragrah begins.
     
  • The Election Commission now condones the guilt of the Returning Officer.
     
  • My advice to the Election Commission is—don't look helpless. Don’t merely rely on the Returning Officer and officials of the Uttar Pradesh Government. They are nominees of the people who want to prevent Modi. There is more to a campaign than a prayer and meeting 150 people.

In response to this, the EC made public their letter to Mr Jaitley on May 7 and also held a press conference linked below in short-takes

EC Writes to Arun Jaitley

SHORT TAKES
08 May 2014, 05:36:12 PM

CEC: Permission for meeting to BJP in Varanasi not withdrawn.It wasn't given, only advance recd with application.

08 May 2014, 05:30:55 PM

We dont take actions on complaints. We are expressing our anguish when a complaint degenerates into unfair criticism and calumny: CEC

08 May 2014, 05:28:30 PM

Officers can't be transferred on chhoti chhoti complaints. We take objective decisions based on enquiries an facts of the case: CEC

08 May 2014, 05:27:27 PM

Complaints would be treated on merit irrespective of parties concerned: CEC

08 May 2014, 05:26:28 PM | Buzz

Neutrality of the commission should not be questioned at such a sensitive time. EC has delivered free and fair elections for 63 years

08 May 2014, 05:26:02 PM | Buzz

CEC: We have been called "not bold" in taking our decisions. Sweeping statements about Constitutional bodies should not be made

08 May 2014, 05:23:09 PM | Buzz

We are disappointed that questions are being raised over EC; we are not afraid of any political party or entity in discharging our duty: CEC

08 May 2014, 05:21:24 PM | Buzz

EC: Complaints about public meetings and rallies in Varanasi have been received. Would not like to dispute the field level decisions

08 May 2014, 05:16:03 PM | Buzz

EC: A specific reference has been made about the EC not being 'bold" enough by senior leaders. Sr leaders should be more mature.

08 May 2014, 05:09:22 PM | Buzz

Extraordinary Press Conference by Election Commission: In response to recent controversy of questions over its neutrality

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