After waiting for over eight months for the Law Ministry to clear its proposal to set up the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM),an advanced centre of research and training in election management,the Election Commission (EC) has withdrawn its proposal.
As first reported by The Indian Express,despite repeated reminders from the EC,the ministry didnt clear the proposal,with Law Minister Salman Khurshid informing the EC on at least two occasions that he was having the matter processed.
Khurshid is part of the GoM on corruption,which was scheduled to discuss the issue of providing statutory backing to the model code of conduct,a move that was shelved after the EC and the Opposition protested.
In a way it (Law Ministry sitting on the proposal) was a blessing in disguise. We experienced complete functional autonomy,all due to the support and backing of the PM. We came to the view that there was no need for constituting a society to manage IIDEM and involving so many other officials,many of them not connected with the conduct of elections, sources in the EC said.
The sources claimed that despite repeated assurances,the ministry had not shared a Cabinet note that it claimed to have drafted on the issue.
There was a meeting in which a senior EC functionary also went. There,to his surprise,he was asked about the ECs views on the Cabinet note about IIDEM,a note that had not been sent to the EC. After he pointed this out,the meeting ended. Even though many days have passed,the note is still to arrive, said the source.
He pointed out that Rs 50 crore has already been provided to the EC for the project while land has been allotted at Dwarka in Delhi.