April 01, 2021

Press Release

As a follow up to the earlier letter on March 25 and the subsequent meeting with the ECI on March 26, Nilotpal Basu, Polit Bureau member of Communist Party of India (Marxist) wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India on the latest developments regarding the conduct of the Rajya Sabha elections from Kerala.

We are releasing the text of the letter for publication.

For CPI(M) Central Committee office

April 01, 2021

Dear Shri Arora ji,

The developments regarding the holding of the Rajya Sabha elections from Kerala are further vindicating our concerns. We had earlier written to you on March 25, 2021, urging you to concretely inform whether the Commission is going to put the Rajya Sabha elections in abeyance based on the stated reference by the Ministry of Law and Justice. However, when our delegation met the Commission(where you could not be  there because of your travel requirements) we were told that the 24th March press note of the EC was not intended by the Commission to put the election process in abeyance in the real sense of the term and just to enable itself to deal with the Government’s reference. But, what was intriguing is that while the government had no locus standi to do what it did, the Commission allowed itself to take the reference into cognisance and initiated steps affecting the already declared schedule. No less surprising was the Commission’s reluctance to share the content of the government’s reference in the public domain bringing the transparency of the Commission’s actions under some avoidable cloud.

But, now in relation to a petition in Kerala High Court, the Commission’s stand poses grave implications. Having stated orally that the elections will be held before the expiry of the tenure of the incumbent members, the refusal of the Commission to make an explicit statement to this effect is inexplicable. What is further adding to the apprehension is the Commission’s continued reluctance to share the contents of the Government’s reference which has apparently changed the Commission’s initial intention as stated in its 17 March notification setting out the schedule.

Therefore, we are categorically urging the Commission to act in accordance with law and hold the elections before the expiry of the tenure of the incumbent members. We would further urge you to share the details of the contents of the Government’s reference for the sake of transparent conduct of an independent Constitutional authority like the Election Commission of India. Finally, we sincerely hope that the Election Commission will act in a manner which is not construed as a compromise of the Commission’s independence.

Thanking you,

With regards,
(Nilotpal Basu)
Member, Polit Bureau, CPI(M)

N.B.: Relevant media report is annexed.
The Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan
Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001