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No rancour against Gopalaswami, says Chawla

Source: PTI
March 06, 2009 13:36 IST
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Chief Election Commissioner- designate Navin Chawla wants to put the row with incumbent N Gopalaswami behind, saying he has "no rancour" against him.

"We will continue to conduct free, fair and transparent elections as we have been doing," Chawla told PTI when asked to comment on his elevation.

Chawla, however, refused to join issue with Gopalaswami, who had sought his removal from the Election Commission, housing the three member poll panel, saying he has "no rancour".

He was speaking from Lucknow where he had gone along with CEC Gopalaswami and another Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi to review poll preparations in Uttar Pradesh.

He showered praise on his predecessors T N Seshan, M S Gill, J M Lyngdoh, T S Krishnamurthy and B B Tandon besides the "present full Commission" for the conduct of the "excellent" elections.

Chawla also praised former Election Commissioner G V G Krishnamurthy, saying he had contributed tremendously to the democratic process in the country.

"Our focus is to continue to empower each and every voter," Chawla said, adding the commission has provided Elector Photo Identity Cards to 75 per cent of the voting population which was a "tremendous" achievement.

"This endeavour will continue," he said before leaving for Bihar where the full commission would review the poll arrangements in the state going to polls in two phases.

Chawla said the commission took stock of the situation in UP at a 13-hour marathon meeting on Thursday with the chief secretary, home secretary, senior civil and police officials.

UP will have five phased polling. He would take over as the next CEC on April 21, a day afer Gopalaswami demits office.

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