After Karnataka fiasco, faith in EC’s ‘neutrality’ vanishes: Shiv Sena

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Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) Ruling NDA ally Shiv Sena on Thursday questioned the “neutral or unbiased” functioning of the Election Commission after the Karnataka Assembly elections date allegedly leaked out before the official announcement.

“It was felt the ECI would remain neutral or unbiased. The country had already lost faith in ECI following the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) controversy. After the Karnataka episode, the bare minimum trust in ECI has vanished,” the Sena said.

An editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ said: “Some Amit Malaviya of the BJP IT Cell announced the Karnataka poll dates (May 12) and punctured the ECI’s scheduled press conference where it was to be officially declared. What does this mean?”

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When T.N. Seshan was the Chief Election Commissioner, he had shown that the poll panel had a ‘spine’. But before and after him, that backbone was missing, it said.

The reason for this is the persons heading the Election Commission were joining politics, were appointed to to Rajya Sabha, become ministers or Governors. Ditto was the case with judges of the Supreme Court or High Court chief justices.

“This is no sign of neutrality. These are the rewards for ’tilting the scales’ when in authority. Right from the ECI to the courts now, suspicions are being raised on people who are appointed, with preference being given to candidates from a particular state. Its detrimental to the country’s integrity,” the Sena said.

“After this government has taken over, it has been imposing like-minded persons without capabilities on the country’s legal machinery, education sector and the election departments, playing havoc with their credibility,” the Sena pointed out.

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“Demonetisation was a total flop as it failed to unearth black money and the Reserve Bank Of India Governor’s credibility was finished. But as the (demonetization) news had already leaked out, industrialists and politicians managed to successfully convert several tonnes of Rs 500-Rs 1,000 bundles to white while the common man suffered,” the Sena said.

–IANS

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