After media reports about Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra and two Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar, Anup Chandra Pandey talking to the PMO, the Congress has raised questions and asked how the election can be expected to be fair. According to the Indian Express report, these officials of the Election Commission had an online conversation with the PMO on 16 November.

Questioning the fairness of the election, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asked, “They (PMO) cannot say like this. The Election Commission is expected to be impartial. Not only is it expected, but it is an independent body. How can they call the Election Commission? How then can we expect the elections to be fair?

Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government was using the Election Commission as a “subordinate instrument”. Surjewala alleged that the government has come to a new level to destroy institutions in the country. Citing reports that a Law Ministry official had sought the presence of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission in a meeting with the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Congress leader said this was “never heard in independent India.”

The secret has come out. What was a whisper till now is now a fact. Calling the Election Commission on behalf of the PMO was unheard of in independent India. Treating the Election Commission as a subordinate instrument is a new low in the Modi government’s record of destroying every institution.

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