PUDUCHERRY:Leader of Opposition V Vaithilingam has charged the ruling NR Congress government with trying to appoint a person with political connection to their party as the State Election Commissioner (SEC). Vaithilingam claimed this was in gross violation of the constitutional obligations.
In a statement, Vaithi-lingam alleged that the NR Congress government did not have any interest in conducting the local body polls and in case the Madras High Court gave a direction to conduct elections, then the AINRC would like to have everything in its favour.
“The present State Election Commissioner Udipta Ray’s tenure is over and it is necessary to appoint a new SEC for holding the elections. Normally, a retired judge or a retired civil servant is appointed as the State Election Commissioner. This has been the convention,” said Vaithilingam.
Now, in gross violation, a retired officer from the Army has been proposed for this post, he said, adding that this was instrumental in registering NR Congress with the Election Commission of India.
Vaithilingam questioned how the officer, if appointed, could function without any favour or bias. He wondered how the person who with political tilt towards NR Congress could conduct the local body polls neutrally.
Further, Vaithilingam said that whenever any head of a constitutional body is appointed, it is customary to take the Leader of Opposition and the Speaker into consultation before finalising the person. This procedure is being followed by the Union Government whenever constitutional body heads of CEC, CVC, CBI Director are appointed, though there is no leader of Opposition at present. However, in Puducherry, the ruling NR Congress did not bring the Leader of Opposition on board in matters like appointment of State Election Commissioner.
As such, Vaithilingam appealed to the L-G to reject the proposal of NR Congress government to appoint a person with political background as the State Election Commissioner and uphold the parliamentary democracy. Besides, he urged the L-G to advise the government to appoint the State Election Commissioner in consultation with the Speaker and Leader of Opposition.