Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on March 28 said that the Election Commission of India has never worked on the diktat of anyone nor will it in the future.
The assertion of the CEC came following allegations levelled by the Congress that the poll panel was working at the behest of the ruling BJP for the delimitation of 126 Assembly and 14 Parliamentary seats of Assam.
"It's not new for us, we have to hear such words. It is never possible to dictate anything to us. Our record is such that we never take dictation from anyone and never will," Kumar said.
The ECI has been able to maintain its impeccable record by remaining firm on its two foundations - discourse and participation of stakeholders, he told a press conference here at the end of his three-day visit to the state ahead of delimitation of constituencies. The two election commissioners, Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel accompanied him.
The Congress refused to meet the ECI team and submit their representation over the proposed delimitation, alleging that the panel had failed to address queries raised before it earlier.
State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Bora accused the ECI of 'match fixing' while carrying out the process of redrawing constituencies. Whether it is the election process or delimitation exercise, all decisions and reasons thereof are shared with the people and involvement of political parties is ensured at all levels, the CEC asserted.
"In case of delimitation also, the draft will be published and discussions held again," he added.
Kumar said the Congress had met the ECI in January over the delimitation issue and the concerns raised by it were almost the same as those put forth by other parties and organisations before it here.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced that the 126 assembly seats and 14 parliamentary seats in Assam will remain the same after the process of redrawing constituency boundaries in the state.
The CEC held discussions with nine recognized political parties and other organizations over the last two days, along with around 60 civil groups, and will try to accommodate all their suggestions in the delimitation exercise.
The Chief Election Commissioner assured that every section of the community across the State will be considered fairly, within the legal framework and adhering to principles of equity
Political parties and organizations that participated in the exercise included TMC, BJP, CPI, CPI(M), NCP, Asom Gana Parishad, AIDUF, Bodoland People's Front, United People's Party Liberal, and three more registered parties: Assam Jatiya Parishad, Lok Raksha Party, and Raijor Dal.
The CEC said they had decided to hold discussions with stakeholders before publishing the draft of the delimitation exercise. He further stated that 126 assembly seats and 14 parliamentary seats will remain the same, but they will extend the date until April 15th for anyone to give their suggestions to the ECI.
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