The JD(U) distanced itself from spokesperson and general secretary Pavan Varma’s remarks asking the Election Commission to give “credible answers” for not announcing the Gujarat election dates, saying it has “full faith” in the impartiality of the poll panel. Varma, in a tweet, urged the Election Commission (EC) to be impartial and also expressed concern over growing hunger in the country in another post.
“EC must not only be impartial but seen to be so. Why have the dates for Gujarat elections not been announced? We need credible answers,” he tweeted.
Just hours after Varma’s tweet, the party distanced itself from the remarks and said it has “full faith” in the poll panel.
“The party does not approve the views expressed by Pavan Varma. We have full faith in the impartial functioning of the Election Commission (EC), a constitutional body,” party’s chief spokesperson and secretary general K C Tyagi said in a statement.
Tyagi said Varma was not authorised to make such a statement and had expressed views in his personal capacity.
The remarks had “nothing to do with the party’s official line,” Tyagi said.
However, Varma had earlier said he had asked the question of the EC as the party spokesperson.
In another tweet, Varma also noted India’s “steep fall” in the global hunger index and said it begged the question who the fastest growing economy was working for.
Asked to explain his remarks on the EC, Varma claimed that they should not be seen as a political statement as the Commission was not the “property of any political party”.
Opposition parties have also questioned the Commission for not announcing Gujarat dates with those for Himachal Pradesh, with some leaders alleging that it was done to help the ruling BJP in the poll-bound state.
Varma said since the dates for the Himachal polls had been announced, it was expected that the schedule for the Gujarat polls would also be declared, but that was not done.
“So I have asked the EC that in order to retain its impartiality, which we all respect, it must provide credible reasons for not doing so. That is a question beyond partisan politics.
Democracy is about strength of the institutions,” the former diplomat and Rajya Sabha member told PTI.
The JD(U) might be a member of the NDA but it was a party with its own identity, ideology and point of view, he said.