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'CEC should not behave like a political boss'
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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February 02, 2009 11:46 IST
Last Updated: February 02, 2009 12:13 IST

Union Law Minister H Bharadwaj on Monday slammed Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami for 'overstepping his powers' by recommending the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla to President Pratibha Patil [Images].

"The CEC overstepped his powers. His allegations are unfortunate. He cannot behave like a political boss," Bharadwaj told mediapersons on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi [Images] on Monday.

He also indicated that Chawla will take over as the next CEC once Gopalaswami demits office on April 20.

Gopalaswami's letter to the President had revealed the differences within the Election Commission. It had also triggered a political row, with the Bharatiya Janata Pary demanding Chawla's removal, claiming that he was partial to the ruling Congress.

The Centre and the Left parties have maintained that Chawla holds a constitutional post and can only be removed via the process of impeachment.

Bharadwaj quipped that if the BJP could attack Chawla, the Congress could also question Gopalaswami's political leanings.

President Patil has forwarded the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] office.

The government is going through the contents of the letter and would send its reply to the President, informed Bharadwaj.

Asked if the government had taken any decision on the Chief Election Commissioner's recommendation to remove Chawla, he said "When a decision is taken, we will inform you," adding "the EC's role is to prepare electoral rolls and not to settle scores".

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