Former chief election commissioner N.Gopalaswami said on Tuesday, a day after demitting office, that bureaucrats don't need to resign when their recommendations get rejected because they send "thousands of files" of which some get accepted and some don't.
Answering a question on why he didn't resign when his recommendation to remove Navin Chawla, the new head of the poll panel, was rejected, Gopalaswami said: "As bureaucrats, we send thousands of files. Some get accepted some don't. If we resign after every recommendation that has not been accepted then there will not be one secretary left in the government of India."
Interacting with members of the Indian Women Press Corp, a day after he retired as chief election commissioner, Gopalaswami said "a lot more abuse" was being seen in this election as compared to 2004.
Gopalaswami, who served in the poll panel for five years, of which he headed it for three years till his retirement Monday, has often been in the news for his bitter wrangling with Chawla. The former chief election commissioner had recommended to President Pratibha Patil that Chawla be removed because of his partial attitude towards the Congress, but his recommendation was rejected.
On the issue of why the Election Commission did not send CDs showing Pilibhit's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Varun Gandhi making inflammatory remarks for forensic tests, he said: "We would be sitting for an entire lifetime if we had gone into the details." "When we take action, you blame us that why we have taken this action and if we don't take action then you blame us that we are sitting over the case," he told the crowded hall.