New Delhi : The Election Commission on Tuesday rejected Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy’s plea that the Congress be de-recognised as a political party.

It was Swamy’s contention that the Congress had violated rules for registration by lending Rs. 90 crore to a company that was running the now defunct National Herald, as political parties cannot divert their donations into a commercial enterprise.

The EC has said in its reply that the law does not prescribe how political parties use their funds. The Representation of the People’s Act only provides for the manner in which registered

parties may raise funds. But there is no provision whatsoever in that Act prescribing the manner in which the political parties may use those funds, the EC has pointed out.

Swamy said that he was expecting rejection of his plea. The EC should have at least held a hearing, which they didn’t do. EC was a very pliant institution and has been further undermined by the Congress, he said.

He added that he would be approaching the court next.

The commission also took serious exception to Swamy’s allegations questioning the impartiality of the commission, a charge that the EC rejected as completely baseless.

Swamy had moved the Election Commission on Saturday seeking to de-recognise the Congress. He had pleaded that the Congress has violated the Representation of People’s Act and the EC’s model code of conduct by lending more than Rs 90 crores “in violation of the guidelines and rules for registration as well as recognition of political parties.”

The EC gave a 4-page reply stating the poll body could act only if there was violation of model code of conduct. The EC also said that Swamy had failed to show just how was the model code of conduct violated by the Congress.

The EC also snubbed Swamy for demanding de-recognition of the “All India Congress Party,” pointing out that there is no such recognised party. Rather, it is the Indian National Congress.

The EC also asserted that the plea he took to seek de-recognition of the Congress does not fall under 16A of the Election Symbols Order, 1968. “If the party has not complied with any of the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as alleged by you, that matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission,” the EC’s letter has pointed out.

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