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New Delhi:

While Lok Sabha elections are around the corner, the credibility of Election Commission of India is being questioned. A group of 66 former bureaucrats have written an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, alleging the credibility of Election Commission. They have also appealed to the President to ensure fair polls. The letter points to various violations of the Model Code of Conduct and illustrates how the EC has taken nominal action on most of the complaints that have been filed with it.

It also says that they, the former bureaucrats, are distressed to note the misuse and disregard of the Model Code of Conduct by the ruling party at the Centre and the EC’s reluctance to come down hard on these violations.

Through the letter, which has also been sent to the Chief Election Commissioner and other Elections Commissioners, the concerned group of bureaucrats ask the EC to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned and to firmly exercise the extensive mandate given to it under Article 324 of the Constitution of India to ensure that the Indian voter is able to exercise her/his franchise without fear or favour”, quotes national media reports.

“The weak-kneed conduct of the EC has reduced the credibility of this constitutional body to an all-time low. Any erosion in the people’s confidence in the fairness of the EC has very grave consequences for the future of our democracy and we hope that the gravity of the situation will be appreciated by the EC,” the former bureaucrats wrote in the letter.

In the letter, they mainly point out a few major allegations towards the central government, where the EC has acted in a biased manner. The A-SAT public announcement of Modi, the timely release of Modi’s biopic, NaMo TV’s act in favour of Modi, the 10-part web series about Modi on Eros Now, EC’s order of transferring three top posted police officers, Yogi Adityanath’s reference of Indian Army as ‘Modi ki Sena’, some of Modi’s election campaign speeches are the major claims in the letter.

The group of 66 former bureaucrats include former Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, former National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, former Special Secretary in Cabinet Secretariat Vappala Balachandran, former Haryana Secretary M.G. Devasahayam, former TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar, former J&K Chief Secretary-rank Hindal Tyabji and former Rajasthan Chief Secretary Salahuddin Ahmed.

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