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CEC defends his move
Says recommendation within his Constitutional right
Tribune News service

New Delhi, February 1
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami today defended his action of recommending the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla for “partisanship” to President Pratibha Patil.

“I am right,” Gopalaswami told a news agency even as the controversy over the issue rages on.

Regarding his move being criticised by some jurists, he said it was within his Constitutional right to make such a recommendation. “It’s bound to happen. Each person has his own perspective. For some, the timing is wrong, for others it is not,” the CEC added.

On being asked that why the recommendation came barely a few months before his retirement and the Lok Sabha polls, Gopalaswami clarified that the petition came to him in January-end last year.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani, meanwhile, said the government should accept CEC’s proposal without any delay. “On behalf of the BJP, party general secretary Arun Jaitley has rightly argued that the word recommendation used in the second provision of Article 324(3) must be construed as a binding recommendation,” Advani wrote in his blog today.

However, CPM lashed out at the CEC’s recommendation and termed the move as “out of bounds.” The party demanded that the proposal, which raises suspicion of members “playing politics,” should be rejected by the government. Criticising the BJP and the Congress for nominating their “pet bureaucrats” in the EC, leading to its “degeneration,” the CPM called for urgent reforms in the central poll authority.

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