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Lyngdoh says he has done his bit

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 04, 2004 20:23 IST

Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh, who will retire later this month, has described assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 as his biggest challenge.

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Speaking to newsmen on Wednesday, he said his successor, T S Krishnamurthy, is an able officer and hoped the Election Commission will continue to do good work.

Asked if holding elections in Gujarat an equally big challenge, Lyngdoh said it was not but "it was not a nice experience."

Elections in Gujarat were held in 2002 in the backdrop of over a month of communal riots.

Asked if he continues to hold his opinion that politicians can't be trusted, the chief election commissioner said he did not wish to enter into another controversy at this juncture.

Lyngdoh on Wednesday presided over a meeting of chief electoral officers of all states and Union territories. However, he refused to discuss poll arrangements for the coming Lok Sabha polls.

"I do not want to deny my successor his due. This question should be answered by Krishnamurthy who takes over from me. There was no message to the chief electoral officers. I simply listened to them," he added.

Asked how would he look back on his time as the CEC, Lyngdoh said: "I had a good time as the chief election commissioner. I have done my bit and now others would carry on."

Asked if the Election Commission has grown in stature over the years and if it would continue to be independent of the country's political establishment, the CEC said:  "As far as the stature is concerned, I cannot say anything because I was inside the commission. It is for the media to judge. Regarding the other thing, I am confident that the commission would continue to be independent because of the kind of people that we have in the commission." he said.

Answering a question whether he wished he had a little more time in office to see the Lok Sabha polls through, Lyngdoh said: "I do not have that kind of goals. I have finished my tenure and I am going to Hyderabad. You are welcome to meet me there," he said.

When a journalist asked why he always evaded the media, Lyngdoh said with a big smile: "I do not believe in opening my mouth everyday."


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