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The central government and the opposition are seen face-to-face over the bill providing for the appointment of election commissioners and other election commissioners. According to sources, the central government is reconsidering the bill to appoint polling officers after opposition protests. Many opposition parties, including the Congress, are opposing the denial of supreme court judge status to the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners. Let us know that the special session of Parliament is starting today. Earlier, in the all-party meeting held on Sunday, the Modi government gave a list of eight bills to the opposition, in which the bill for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners was not there.
What is the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners Appointment Bill
The Bill for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners was introduced in the Rajya Sabha during the last monsoon session. According to the provisions of the bill, the salary and allowances of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners will be equal to that of the Cabinet Secretary. At present, according to the law relating to the service of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, their salary is equal to that of a Judge of the Supreme Court. A government source says that despite the change in status, the salary of election officers will remain the same as before. But according to the existing bill, the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner will be the same as the Cabinet Secretary, not the same as a Judge of the Supreme Court. However, the government has not yet clarified the position on this bill. According to the source, it has been clarified in the bill that the tenure of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners will be effective for a period of six years from the date they assume office or on completion of 65 years of age or whichever is earlier.
Why is there opposition to the bill...?
- According to the bill, the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner will be equal to the Cabinet Secretary, not a Judge of the Supreme Court, so they can be considered as bureaucrats. This can be a complicated situation in the case of conducting elections.
- There is opposition to not giving the status of a Judge of the Supreme Court to the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners. The bill proposes to reduce their status from a Supreme Court judge to a cabinet secretary, which was also opposed by the opposition in an all-party meeting held on Sunday.
- According to sources, it has been proposed to include a cabinet minister in place of the Chief Justice in the committee for the selection of the Chief Election Commissioner and Commissioners. The opposition is also opposing this.
- According to the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Tenure of Office) Bill, 2023, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Commissioners shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a selection committee.
- According to the bill, the Prime Minister will head this committee and the committee will consist of the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister. According to its provisions, if there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, then the leader of the largest party of the opposition in the House will be considered as the Leader of the Opposition.
After opposition protests, the central government is reconsidering..!
The bill for appointment of chief election commissioner and election commissioners was not among the eight bills that the Modi government gave to the opposition at an all-party meeting ahead of the special session of Parliament. Even in a conversation with the media, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi did not mention this bill at all. When Pralhad Joshi was asked about this bill, he said- "I told what I had to tell". According to sources, it was being said that the government is considering amendments to it.
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