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EC action pressurized by political considerations: Varun

EC action pressurized by political considerations: Varun

Author: PTI
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 23, 2009

A defiant Varun Gandhi today hit back at the Election Commission for asking BJP not to nominate him for the Lok Sabha polls, and accused the panel of taking "hasty" and "harsh" action "pressurised by political considerations"..

The BJP candidate from Pilibhit said the EC action was in "utter disregard of the principles of natural justice" as it had passed the censure "without any attempt to ascertain the truth".

Making it clear that he would not withdraw from the polls, 29-year-old Varun said, "I believe my real court of appeal lies with the people."

Varun, who is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time, also said, "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."

With his party standing by him, Varun said by 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". "It is astonishing that such harsh censure should be used without any attempt to ascertain the truth," said Varun, who has come under attack for his alleged anti-Muslim speeches recorded on tapes, which he claimed have been doctored.

A day after EC recommended to BJP that he should not be fielded because of his hate campaign, Varun said the EC had given him no chance to clarify.

Varun said he had asked for the material forming the basis of the EC notice to enable him 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," he wrote to the EC.

The BJP candidate also said the EC had taken the action without providing him personal hearing, the report against him or any materials on which that report is based.

He claimed that the EC did not show him or even sought out for itself the original recording, if at all it exists.

The EC gave the recommendation without "examining the authenticity or source of the tape that was sent to it which on a cursory glance shows that there has been splicing, repetition and interpolation during the so-called editing process as evident from the media logo seen in the footage. The short jumpy sequences also establish that the tape has been edited," Varun said.

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