Erosion of institutional integrity was hallmark of Modi govt: Congress on Ashok Lavasa’s purported letter

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Responding on media reports of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recusing himself from the panel’s meetings to discuss poll code violations, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday said the “erosion of institutional integrity” was “the hallmark” of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The Congress spokesperson’s reaction came after Lawasa, reportedly protested against his views on several issues pertaining to poll code violations were not recorded by the EC.

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Notebly, Lavasa disagreed with the poll panel’s decision of giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Modi and BJP President Amit Shah in connection with cases of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations.

Citing a media report, Surjewala said, “Election Commission OR Election Omission! Another Dark Day for Democracy! Sh Ashok Lavasa, Member CEC, who dissented on multiple occasions when EC was busy giving clean chits to Modi-Shah duo, opts out of EC as the ECI even refuse to record dissent notes.”

“Erosion of Institutional Integrity is the hallmark of Modi Govt! SC Judges going public, RBI Guv’s resigning, CBI Director getting removed, CVC giving vacuous reports, Now Dividing Election Commission! Will EC save the embarrassment by recording Sh Lavasa’s dissent notes?” he said in a series of tweet.

Speaking to ANI, the Congress spokesperson said, “Election Commission is working on Modi ji’s behest. Ashok Lavasa’s letter makes it clear that CEC was not even ready to record the difference of opinion of Lavasa ji regarding Modi and Amit Shah.”

As per media reports, Lavasa wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on May 4 conveying him that he would not attend meetings of the commission unless and until his dissenting views were not recorded in the order of the commission.

However, CEC Arora today issued a statement on Lavasa’s purported letter to him.

Calling the media reports “unsavory and avoidable”, CEC Arora said, “An unsavory and avoidable controversy reported in sections of media today about internal functioning of ECI in respect of the handling of Model Code of Conduct.”

“The three members of EC are not expected to be template or clones of each other, there have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can, and should be.

But the same largely remained within confines of ECI after demission of office unless appearing much later in a book written by the concerned ECs/CECs. I personally never shied away from a public debate whenever required but there is time for everything,” he said.

The Election Commission’s three top members are Sunil Arora, Ashok Lavasa, and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra.

(With ANI inputs)

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