Election Commissioner OP Rawat recuses from hearing AAP cases

Arvind Kejriwal, in an interview, had alleged that two out of the three election commissioners were close to the ruling dispensation.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2017 9:27 am

Election Commissioner O P Rawat has recused himself from hearing all cases and complaints related to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned his impartiality in a media interview. The unprecedented decision, Rawat told The Indian Express, was imperative to protect the credibility of the Election Commission.

In a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi Wednesday, he wrote, “I hereby recuse myself from all cases pertaining to AAP so that Shri Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party not only get justice but they also perceive that Election Commission has been fair beyond any shred of doubt. This step is also required to uphold the public perception of impartiality and objectivity of the Election Commission of India.”

Kejriwal, in an interview, had alleged that two out of the three election commissioners were close to the ruling dispensation. He was answering a question related to the office-of-profit case being heard by the EC against 21 AAP MLAs. “One of the election commissioners, A K Joti, was chief secretary of Gujarat under (Narendra) Modiji. The second election commissioner has come from Madhya Pradesh and has been very close to Shivraj Singh Chouhan. So, independence of both these election commissioners is under question,” he was quoted as saying.

When The Indian Express reached out to A K Joti for comment, he said, “I have no comments to make as I am discharging my duties in a free and impartial manner under law. The Commission is meeting office bearers and members of all political parties including AAP. The suggestions and complaints given by the political parties are always examined with necessary due diligence under law and appropriate action is taken.”

“He (Kejriwal) has said that the only independent person is Dr. (Nasim) Zaidi. So, to instill faith and confidence in this institution, its impartiality and its objectivity, it is important that Mr. Kejriwal gets justice from wherever he has faith. Nobody else who is under question should take part in the proceedings. Individuals do not matter. This institution’s credibility has to be maintained and it has to be impeccable,” Rawat said.

He added: “I don’t think people have their facts right. I was never made chief secretary (of MP) by Mr. Shivraj Singh. In fact, I was overlooked (for the job) and I had to come here as secretary to the Government of India and I retired from that post. At the time of my retirement, Shivraj ji was the Chief Minister in MP and the BJP was in power at the Centre. For one-and-half years (after retirement) I was doing what I liked. No one bothered me and there were no post-retirement job offers.”

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  1. S
    Simmi
    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm
    Compromised EC directors are feeling heat of truth...Everyone knows how impartial EC has been against AAP...... EC is speaking BJP's language on every issue related to AAP... Feku has destro every autonomous ins utional by appointing his Chamcha's everywhere be it CIC,EC,RBI...list is long.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amit C
      Apr 21, 2017 at 8:16 am
      Anyone having little understanding of Indian politics saw how polls were scheduled recently. We have all seen how Parikar was dealt with when everyone saw his comments on distributing money. This kind of drama would only please Bhakts.
      Reply
      1. N
        Niladrinath Mohanty
        Apr 21, 2017 at 7:33 am
        Arvind Kejriwal has to say something to be in limelight.
        Reply
        1. A
          ABDL
          Apr 21, 2017 at 11:25 am
          At Least he has the guts to say what he perceives. After all how many honest politicians are left in the country?
          Reply
          1. S
            Simmi
            Apr 21, 2017 at 9:18 pm
            Arvind Kejriwal speaks the truth and it hurts the corrupts as usual.....
            Reply