NEW DELHI: Amid notes of dissent by one of the election commissioners Ashok Lavasa, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Saturday said that diversion of views was not new among the members of the Election Commission and that they are not expected to be clones of each other. The statement from the CEC came after Lavasa decided to stay away from the meetings related to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) as his dissent on the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah was not included in the orders of the Commission, sources said.
Sources said that Lavasa sent several reminders to the CEC since May 4, to include dissent notes in the final orders and sought to know that why his minority view was not included in the final order on MCC violations. The EC has not passed any orders on MCC violations since then. Officials said that Lavasa has recused himself from all meetings on MCC issues from the first week of this month.
Sunil Arora on Saturday described as “unsavory” and “avoidable” reports that fellow commissioner Ashok Lavasa has decided to recuse himself from meetings related to model code violations till he is not allowed to record his dissent.
“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,” Sunil Arora said.
Arora also said that such differences in views largely remained within confines of ECI after demission of office. “Out of the 13 issues/areas which were identified, model code of conduct is one of them,” Sunil Arora said in a statement. He also said, “I personally never shied away from a public debate whenever required but there is time for everything.”
Congress demands inquiry
Demanding a probe into charges made by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, the Congress alleged that eroding institutional integrity has been the hallmark of Modi government and asked whether the poll panel was a ‘puppet’ in the PM’s hands.