Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who had disputed the poll body’s decision to clear Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah of multiple charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct, recused himself from attending all meetings to discuss issues relating to MCC.
Lavasa claimed that “minority decisions are going unreported” and has insisted that he will attend the meetings only after dissent notes are included in the orders of the commission, reported the Hindustan Times.
The matter has reportedly remained a major hurdle for the Election Commission to conduct meetings to discuss MCC violations since May 4.
The Election Commission’s rules prefer a unanimous view, but also has a provision for a majority ruling in the absence of unanimity.
The Commission’s decision to give a clean chit to PM Modi and Shah in all cases of MCC violations was received with grave criticism from across quarters. The matter accentuated when reports suggested that Lavasa had disagreed with the poll body’s decisions, but this dissent wasn’t registered in the orders that were passed.
On May 4, Commissioner Lavasa wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner saying that he was forced to stay away from the meetings of the full commission since minority decisions are not being recorded.
On May 4, the EC gave a clean chit to PM Modi for a speech delivered in Gujarat on April 21, where he said that his government had kept Pakistan on its toes to ensure the safe return of captured pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. He was also clear of all the charges of MCC violation for his speech in Varanasi when he said that 42 terrorists were killed to avenge the death of 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama. Even Shah was cleared of the charges for saying “it was difficult to make out if Wayanad is in India or Pakistan.”