Raghav Chadha Scoffs At Changes In Bill To Appoint Top Poll Officials
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha launched a vociferous protest in Rajya Sabha today against a controversial bill
Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha launched a vociferous protest in Rajya Sabha today against a controversial bill on the appointment of top three election officials. Speaking during the debate on the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, Mr Chadha said the changes made in the bill would enable the BJP to appoint whoever they please in this crucial post.
“They have removed the Chief Justice of India from the selection panel and replaced him with a cabinet minister. This gives the government two votes… so with this 2:1 majority, they can appoint anyone, even Sambit Patra (BJP spokesman) if they wish. Can you imagine the situation then,” Mr Chadha said, evoking smiles from the chair and guffaws from members.
“It is not a bill, it is a ‘billdozer’. It is an insult to the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India,” he also added.
Shortly after, the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
The Opposition has argued against this provision of the bill, saying it would end all balance and transparency in the selection process. It has also pointed out that the change was a violation of a Supreme Court order.
In March, the top court had ordered that a three-member panel of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition pick the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
In absence of a Leader of the Opposition, a representative of the single-largest Opposition party would be on the panel, the court had said.