Congress appeals to democratic forces to oppose it
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday appealed to all democratic forces to oppose a new bill that seeks to regulate the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, and asked if the BJD and YSRCP will also join hands.
Congress MP and whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah want to control the Election Commission by bringing the bill.
The bill has been listed in the day’s business in the Rajya Sabha.
“Modi and Shah wants to control the ECI as they are doing now,” Tagore alleged on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Modi & shah wants to control the ECI as they are doing now .
All the Democratic forces must appose .
Will BJD & YSRCP do ? https://t.co/Kqm0C2ufn9
— Manickam Tagore .B🇮🇳✋மாணிக்கம் தாகூர்.ப (@manickamtagore) August 10, 2023
“All the Democratic forces must appose. Will BJD and YSRCP do,” Tagore asked.
The government has listed a bill for introduction in the Rajya Sabha to regulate the appointment, conditions of service and term of office of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.
The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill also seeks to set up a procedure for transaction of business by the Election Commission.
According to the bill listed for introduction, future chief election commissioner and election commissioners will be selected by a three-member panel headed by the prime minister and comprising leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Cabinet minister.
This is in contrast to a Supreme Court judgment of March this year which said the panel should comprise the PM, LoP in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
A vacancy will arise in the poll panel early next year when Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey demits office on February 14 on attaining the age of 65.
The apex court had in March delivered a landmark verdict aimed at insulating the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners from the Executive’s interference.
It had ruled that their appointments will be done by the President on the advise of a committee comprising the prime minister, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, in a unanimous verdict, held that this norm will continue to hold good till a law on the issue is made by Parliament.
Before the SC ruling, CEC and Election Commissioners were appointed by the President on the recommendation of the government.