NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Friday stepped forward to defend its officer in charge of West Bengal, deputy election commissioner Sudeep Jain, against allegations of bias levelled by Trinamool Congress, saying that it had full faith in his integrity and fairness.
Reacting to TMC’s complaint lodged with the West Bengal chief electoral officer (CEO) questioning Jain’s neutrality in the upcoming polls — which was forwarded by the CEO to the commission — the poll watchdog said in a statement: “The commission would like to categorically state that all our deputy election commissioners and other officials posted in the EC headquarters and/or working in the field are discharging their duties strictly as per the Constitution of India and the various rules regarding the conduct of elections. There could be an odd exception here or there in which case EC takes corrective action immediately.
“In the immediate case, the commission has full faith in the integrity and fairness of Sudeep Jain, DEC. Unfortunately, it is not for the first time that a concerted campaign is mounted against senior officers of the commission on the eve of/during the process of elections.”
As regards allegations by TMC regarding two decisions taken by Jain during the 2019 polls, when too he was DEC in charge of West Bengal, the EC clarified that “both these decisions were taken by the commission in the interest of holding free, fair and peaceful elections and implemented by the district election machinery under supervision of DEC, chief electoral officer, police nodal officer and other senior officials concerned”.