Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.

Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.
Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.
Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.
Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.

Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.

Government Excludes Controversial Election Officers Bill from Agenda.

pic/NDTV

In a surprising turn of events, the government has omitted the contentious Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill from the list of eight bills presented to the opposition during the all-party meeting held on the eve of the upcoming five-day special session of the parliament in New Delhi.

Amendments Considered Amidst Opposition

Government sources have indicated their willingness to consider amendments to the bill, acknowledging the widespread opposition it has garnered. One of the primary concerns raised by critics is that the bill aims to strip the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners of their status as Supreme Court judges.

The bill also proposes to align the salary, allowances, and service conditions of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners with those of the Cabinet Secretary, a move that was met with resistance during the all-party meeting.

Controversial Changes in Appointment Process

Furthermore, the bill seeks to alter the composition of the panel responsible for advising the President on the appointment of election commissioners. It intends to replace the Chief Justice of India with a nominated member of the Cabinet, selected by the Prime Minister. This proposed change contradicts a Supreme Court judgment from March, which specified that the panel should include the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India. Opposition parties have strongly objected to this provision, alleging that it could compromise the fairness of elections.

Concerns and Accusations

Prominent political figures have voiced their concerns over the bill. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Modi of disregarding the Supreme Court’s order and described the situation as “very dangerous.”

Uncertainty Surrounding the Bill

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi refrained from discussing the bill’s status during his interaction with the media following the all-party meeting. When questioned about the possibility of the CEC and EC bill being brought up for discussion and approval, Joshi offered an evasive response, stating, “What I have to say, I have said.”

Call for Passage of Women’s Reservation Bill.

During the meeting, various political parties, both from the ruling NDA and the opposition INDIA bloc, advocated strongly for the passage of the women’s reservation bill during the forthcoming five-day parliamentary session, which commences on Monday. Additionally, a special discussion commemorating Parliament’s 75-year journey, starting from the Samvidhan Sabha, is scheduled for today.

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