Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the process of appointing the members of the Election Commission must be revised.
"The present system whereby members to the Election Commission are appointed by the President, solely on the advice of the Prime Minister, does not evoke confidence among the people. Keeping these important decisions as the exclusive preserve of the ruling party renders the selection process vulnerable to manipulation and partisanship," Mr Advani wrote in his letter to the Prime Minister.
The government, however, reacted sharply to Mr Advani's letter with Union Minister
of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat saying, "To create a
distraction from the disturbances in the party, they have found a new
way. But they know very well that our institution for the selection
process is working perfectly and our Election Commission is praised
around the world. And the way the work is done here, I think all of us
will like to salute that process."
Emphasising the need for greater transparency in the selection process, Mr Advani had said that the views of the Opposition Parties must also be considered. In the letter, the senior BJP leader recommends that the poll panel must be appointed by a broad-based collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Minister of Law along with the two leaders of the Opposition in the Lok sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
The current Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi is scheduled to retire later this month.