New Delhi: At a time when the Election Commission is under fire from Opposition parties for being biased, former president Pranab Mukherjee has lauded the role of the poll panel saying the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were conducted "perfectly".
The former Congress man's regard for the poll panel has resulted in appreciative tweets, mostly from Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MJ Akbar, Smriti Irani, Major Surendra Poonia and Poonam Mahajan.
Congress spokesperson PL Punia, however, has said that he did not think that the former president was "aware" of the incidents of the poll panel giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for every alleged violation. "The Election Commissions, over time, have always done a good job...but this Election Commission has given a clean chit to the prime minister on almost every violation...Today 21 parties will be meeting the Election Commission and we hope that they take cognizance of the matter... I don't think former president Pranab Mukherjee is aware of most of the incidents," he told News18.
Speaking at a book launch event in New Delhi on Monday, he said that right from the first election commissioner Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners, the institution is working very well.
He said all the three commissioners are appointed by the executive and they are doing their job well.
Mukherjee said, "You cannot criticise them. It was a perfect conduct of elections."
"If democracy has succeeded, it is largely due to perfect conduct of elections by election commissioners, starting from Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners," Mukherjee said at the launch of the book 'Defining India: Through Their Eyes' by NDTV's Sonia Singh.
His remarks come a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Election Commission's "capitulation" before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is obvious and the poll watchdog is not feared and respected anymore.
The poll panel has been criticised by the Opposition parties for being allegedly biased towards the BJP.
The Opposition stepped up its criticism of the poll panel after Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora stating he will be recusing himself from EC meetings as his dissent was not being recorded on clearances given by the poll panel to the prime minister and BJP chief Amit Shah over alleged poll code violations.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: May 21, 2019 10:56:37 IST