Arun Goel's resignation: Congress says it is deeply concerned; Kapil Sibal raises questions

Opposition leaders said ECI is no longer an autonomous watchdog

azad kapil sibal Kapil Sibal

The opposition parties have slammed the Centre over the surprise resignation of Arun Goel as the Election Commissioner, with the Congress expressing "deep concern" over the move. INDIA bloc members Shiv Sena and NCP too have hit out at the BJP over the resignation. 

Congress general secretary organisation K C Venugopal said in a post on X that "it was deeply concerning for the health of the world's largest democracy."  "There is absolutely "no transparency" in how a constitutional institution like the ECI has been functioning and the manner in which the government pressures it," he said.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday claimed the Election Commission of India is no longer an autonomous watchdog but works as an extended branch of the ruling BJP.  The opposition NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar said Goel's sudden resignation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls appeared suspicious. "Whether the ECI exists or not, it has no meaning, especially after how it has given orders under BJP's pressure in the cases of Shiv Sena and NCP splits, completely in violation of the 10th schedule," Raut claimed while talking to reporters.

"The ECI is not the autonomous watchdog it used to be in the time of TN Seshan, but works as an extended branch of the BJP," the Rajya Sabha member from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena (UBT) further claimed. Raut claimed BJP workers will be appointed in the ECI.

NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said the sudden resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, appears suspicious. "Did he resign because he had a doubt that elections would not be conducted in a free and fair manner? Did he voice it, therefore asked to leave? Government must answer," he said in a statement. 

Former Congress leader Kapil Sibal told ANI said that there is something "serious on the basis of which Arun Goel resigned at the cusp of an election". 

"It surely is (surprising). If at the cusp of an election, which is just a couple of months away, you resign - obviously there is something serious on the basis of which he must have resigned. I can't possibly speculate that reason but obviously there is some element of difference of opinion, especially when his term was still not over," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Sibal further alleged that the poll panel will be tailor-made to the interest of the ruling party as the BJP will "pack the Commission with their own people". "They will pack the Commission with their own people as they have done in the past. Therefore, the Election schedule, the phases of the election, all aspects of the election will be tailor-made to the interest of the ruling party," he said.


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