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Ashok Lavasa opts out of EC poll code meetings over dissent tiff: Reports

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New Delhi, May 18: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa differed with the majority view in five different complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, has recused himself from all meetings to discuss MCC issues.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa during a review meeting. PTI file photo

It was reported then that one of the members of the three-member 'full commission' had dissented with the decision to give clean chits to Modi. The full commission comprises Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.

"I am being forced to stay away from the meetings of the full commission since minority decisions are not being recorded," Lavasa wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner on May 4. "My participation in the deliberations of the Commission becomes meaningless since my minority decisions go unrecorded," NDTV cited Lavasa's letter to EC.

Diversion of views not new: CEC Arora

Miffed at 'ill-timed controversies' over the manner of functioning of Election Commission, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Saturday said the three members of the election body "are not expected to be template or clones of each other, there have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views as it can, and should be."

"But the same largely remained within confines of ECI after demission of office unless appearing much later in a book written by the concerned ECs/CECs. I personally never shied away from a public debate whenever required but there is time for everything,"Arora said.

The Commission has so far cleared six speeches of Modi, apart from his interview to a TV news channel in Varanasi on April 26, observing that they did not violate the code and its advisories.

Lavasa opposed the all-clear to Modi for his minority-majority speeches in Wardha on April 1 and Nanded on April 6, and the clean chit to his appeal to first-time voters by invoking the Balakot airstrikes, in Latur and Chitradurga on April 9.

He also disagreed with his colleagues' view that Shah's speech in Nagpur on April 9, when he likened Wayanad, the second seat from where Congress president Rahul Gandhi is contesting, to Pakistan was not violative of the MCC.

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