NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi has rejected charges of “interference” levelled by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against some officials of the Election Commission. He also said that the charges were “without any basis”.
“We have seen with deep dismay media reports quoting a statement emanating from you that questions actions of the Commission’s officials during the election period,” Quraishi said in a letter sent to Badal.
The Chief Minister had asked the CEC to ensure that the election officials “act with restraint”. He was said to be upset with some transfers effected by the EC.
“I am particularly disappointed that you have chosen to communicate with me and the Commission through the media rather than directly for which several channels are always available. Let me assure you that the Commission operates within diligent awareness of its Constitutional mandate and recognises with the greatest respect the operational boundaries between various Constitutional bodies,” Quraishi said in his letter. He also asked the CM to bring to his notice if there had been any deviations in its work.
“The Commission is concerned that you have made general allegations of interference against EC officials and questioned their conduct without any basis. This could dent their morale and bring them under undue pressure with respect to ensuring free and fair polls,” Quraishi said, in the letter.