Atishi questions EC’s neutrality over show cause notice

New Delhi, Apr 5 (UNI) Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi questioned the neutrality of the Election Commission of India on Friday, urging it to ensure a ‘non-partisan’ election process.

Addressing a press conference over the show cause notice issued to her by the EC following a complaint from the BJP, Atishi alleged that news of the notice flashed on all news channels at 11:15 AM, while she received the actual notice via email at 11:45 AM.”

“This means that the news of the Election Commission’s notice is planted by the BJP in the media first, and then the ECI issues the notice,” Atishi said.

Questioning the Election Commission whether it has become a subsidiary unit of the BJP, Atishi said, “When the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrests a sitting Chief Minister, a prominent opposition figure, at a time when the Model Code of Conduct was enforced, does the Election Commission send a notice to the ED?.”

“When the Income Tax Department seals the bank accounts of a major opposition party, the Congress Party, does the Election Commission send a notice to the Income Tax Department? When the Income Tax Department sends notices to the CPI and CPI (M) regarding their decades’ old return filings just after the election announcement, does the Election Commission send a notice to the Central Government’s Income Tax Department?” the senior AAP leader questioned.

“BJP is openly misusing the CBI, ED, and Income Tax Department, right in front of the eyes of the Election Commission of India,” Atishi affirmed.

“Before the elections, ECI transferred Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries, and DGP Police to states where the opposition was in power. When the opposition, represented by the INDIA alliance, approaches the Election Commission and demands the interim change of directors of the Income Tax Department, CBI, and ED until the elections, the Election Commission does nothing,” she asserted.

“After the announcement of elections, the Income Tax Department raids the home of AAP MLA and leader Gulab Singh Yadav. The AAP complained about it and demanded time for the meeting, but the Election Commission takes no action,” she said.

“The AAP office remained sealed for four consecutive days with barricades placed around it by the Delhi police. We sent another letter on March 26 demanding time from the Election Commission, but the Election Commission did not provide any time,” she claimed.

“We repeatedly sent letters to the Election Commission regarding the BJP’s violations of the Model Code of Conduct, objectionable posters, and their illegal hoardings, but neither on March 29 nor on April 1, and not today, did the Election Commission send any notice to the BJP,” she said.

“It is a matter of concern for the country that the EC, whose responsibility it is to be nonpartisan, to conduct free and fair elections, and to provide a level playing field, is raising questions about their (ECI) neutrality,” Atishi said, adding that we have seen how the country’s major agencies have bowed down before the BJP-led central government, whether it’s the CBI, ED, Income Tax Department, or the State Bank of India.”

She further appealed to ECI not to bow down before the BJP and their central government.

“If today, Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Mr. Gyanesh Kumar, and Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu do not ensure free and fair elections and a level playing field, then for all the wrong reasons, the entire country will remember all three of you for the coming 100 years,” Atishi warned.

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