NEW DELHI: Following his inclusion into the list of candidates appointed to the High-Level Committee including former President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury sent a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah boycotting the committee.
The HLC has been initiated to look into the Constitutional and logistical feasibility of having simultaneous Lok Sabha and State legislative assembly elections — popularised as One Nation One Election. Chowdhury, in his letter, condemning the committee and calling it a “complete eyewash” said, “I have no hesitation whatsoever in declining to serve on the Committee whose terms have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions. It is, I am afraid, a total eyewash.”
Further, he raised questions regarding the “ulterior motives of the government”, laying emphasis upon the fact that the idea in itself is “constitutionally suspect”, “non-feasible” and “logistically non-implementable idea on the nation”. He projected that the discussion on the idea months before the general elections raises “serious concerns” regarding the Centre’s intentions.
The committee consists of eight members, namely, home minister Amit Shah, Leader of Opposition Chowdhury, former Rajya Sabha LoP Ghulam Nabi Azad, former chairperson of the 15th Finance Commission NK Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Dr Subhash C. Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari, alongside Kovind.
Illustrating his displeasure at the exclusion of Congress president and current Rajya Sabha LoP, Mallikarjun Kharge, from the committee, he said, “Furthermore, I find that the current LOP in the Rajya Sabha has been excluded. This is a deliberate insult to the system of Parliamentary democracy.”
The Lok Sabha LoP had earlier this week had his suspension revoked by the Privilege Committee regarding his ‘unruly conduct’.