New Delhi: Home minister P Chidambaram has ruled out the possibility of election commissioner Navin Chawla being dismissed from his post in the wake of chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami’s recent letter to President Pratibha Patil in which he complained that the election commission official had acted in a bipartisan manner.
“The election commissioner’s is a constitutional post that comes with a fixed tenure,” said the home minister when asked whether any action would be taken against Chawla.
External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee has also said the government would act, but not in haste. “It will be examined and the government’s response will be made available in due course,” Mukherjee told reporters here.
Meanwhile, Chawla, whose removal was recommended by Gopalaswami to the government on a petition filed by the BJP which had accused him of acting with bias in favour of the Congress, ruled out his resignation.
Gopalaswami’s action is the first by a CEC in the six-decade history of the Election Commission.
Constitutional experts have attacked the CEC’s decision, saying it has created a crisis and the timing could make people believe that there was “some motivation”.
“I did my job. The report has been given,” Gopalswami told PTI but declined to elaborate.
The Chief Election Commissioner’s recommendation ahead of the general elections brings to the fore the differences among the three-member body which has often been marred by clashes over crucial decisions.
Only last year, Chawla had raised serious objections to the holding of the Karnataka assembly elections in May but was over ruled.
Similarly, he is believed to have also had reservations over the conduct of assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh in the summer of 2007.