EC Navin Chawla caught in controversy
The controversy broke out by a private news channel claimed trusts run by his family had received donations from Congress MPs.india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 18:48 IST
Election Commissioner Navin Chawla was on Monday caught in a controversy over an allegation that private trusts run by his family had received donations from Congress MPs.
The Opposition parties have demanded his removal as Election Commissioner.
The controversy broke out by a private news channel claimed that the trusts were run by Chawla, who was appointed an Election Commissioner in May last year.
Chawla's wife Rupika had received large funds to the tune of Rs 85 lakhs from Congress MPs.
Rubbishing the charge, Chawla said, "no money, whatsoever, not even from MPLAD or even from any private person has been taken ever since I was appointed EC. Previous to that I could not dream that I was going to be appointed EC and I was preparing a life of retirement".
Rejecting opposition contention that his impartiality was in question, Chawla said "there is absolutely no conflict in the decision I have taken as EC and will take as EC".
Main opposition BJP expressed serious concern over the "deep degree of proximity" of Chawla to Congress and said his continuance in office raised serious apprehensions about the impartiality of the Commission.
BJP and its NDA ally JD(U) sought his removal saying it was immaterial whether money was given before he became EC or after.
However defending Chawla, Ambika Soni, one of the MPs who had given the money, and Congress asserted that MPs gave money from their MPLAD fund in their personal capacity for social causes and there was nothing wrong in it. The party had nothing to do with it.