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Varun Gandhi calls EC partisan
A Correspondent in New Delhi | March 23, 2009 20:31 IST
Immediately after the Bhartiya Janata Party made it known that it would not be dictated by the Election Commission's recommendation to drop him as its Pilibhit candidate, Varun Gandhi [Images] shot out a letter to EC protesting its order against him, without even giving him a hearing.
He also accused EC of acting beyond its jurisdiction, surpassing its powers to suggest to the BJP to drop him as its candidate and declared that his "real court of appeal lies with the people."
Here is the full text of the letter he sent to the Election Commission on Monday:
"Having received the EC order late last night at 11 pm (on March 22) after it had been issued to certain sections of the media much before me, I cannot help but express my deep disappointment over the unseemly haste in which the EC has passed an opinion without giving me even a fair opportunity to appear in person or through counsel to establish my innocence.
I had asked two days ago on March 20 in my interim reply to the EC to be supplied with the material forming the basis of the EC notice to enable me to respond appropriately to the same , but sadly in utter disregard of the principles of natural justice, the EC has in haste and unusually censorious language, passed an opinion without:
a. Providing me a personal hearing (to which I am entitled even as per the principles of natural justice).
It is astonishing that such harsh censure should be used without any attempt to ascertain the truth.
I must point out that there are several candidates in the fray even today who have been convicted of or are being tried for crimes which carry a far larger sentence than the one of which I am accused and in fact the papers over the last few days indicate to us that people against whom cases are pending in the context of the 1984 riots, have also been given tickets by a major political party. Despite the same, at least till now, I find that the EC's eagerness to exercise its "recommendatory jurisdiction" begins and ends with my case alone. This itself coupled with the haste with which the EC has acted leaves one to believe that the action has been pressurised by political considerations. Also, in making adverse remarks and recommendations to the BJP and all other parties, the EC has acted beyond its jurisdiction and has surpassed its powers including under Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
I remain confident for I believe my real court of appeal lies with the people.
Although by your own action, you have conveyed that confidentiality of communication is not a concern, I am nevertheless extending the courtesy of informing you that this letter is being simultaneously released to the press.
Feroze Varun Gandhi