Sixty-six former civil servants have written to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing their concerns over the functioning of the Election Commission of India, and listing alleged violations of the model code of conduct that the ECI failed to deal with effectively.
The list includes PM Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the anti-satellite weapon (ASAT), the upcoming Modi biopic and a web series on his life, NaMo TV and alleged incendiary speeches by the PM and other BJP leaders.
The officers, including former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, former foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and former Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, wrote: “The ECI’s independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are perceived to be compromised today, thereby endangering the integrity of the electoral process which is the very foundation of Indian democracy. We are distressed to note the misuse, abuse and blatant disregard of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the ruling party at the Centre, and the ECI’s pusillanimity in coming down with a heavy hand on these violations.” Also among the signatories are former TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar, former health secretary Keshav Desiraju, former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar and former IPS officer Meeran Borwankar.
The group had earlier written to the ECI asking the commission to put on hold upcoming biopics of political personalities and expressed dismay that the PM biopic was being allowed to release.
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