New Delhi, Aug 10: The Congress on Thursday said the Centre's push for the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 that will exclude the Chief Justice of India from the appointment process, was a blatant attempt at making the poll panel a total puppet in the hands of the Prime Minister.
Hitting out at the Centre, Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal tweeted: "Blatant attempt at making the Election Commission a total puppet in the hands of the Prime Minister. What about the Supreme Court’s existing ruling which requires an impartial panel?
"Why does the Prime Minister feel the need to appoint a biased Election Commissioner? This is an unconstitutional, arbitrary and unfair Bill -- we will oppose this on every forum."
Also taking a jibe at the Centre, Congress Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore said in a tweet: "(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Union Home MInister Amit) Shah wants to control the ECI as they are doing now. All the democratic forces must oppose. Will BJD and YSRCP do?"
The reactions from the Congress came amid the likely introduction of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The legislation proposes that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs) will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.
The Selection Committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister, with the LoP and the Union Cabinet Minister appointed by the Prime Minister to be the members. (IANS)