New Delhi: At a time when the Election Commission is under fire from opposition parties for being biased, former president Pranab Mukherjee on Monday lauded the role of the poll panel saying the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were conducted “perfectly”.

Speaking at a book launch event here, he said that right from the first election commissioner Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners, the institution is working very well. He said all the three commissioners are appointed by the executive and they are doing their job well. Mukherjee said, “you cannot criticise them, it was a perfect conduct of elections”.

“If democracy has succeeded, it is largely due to perfect conduct of elections by election commissioners starting from Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners,” Mukherjee said at the launch of the book ‘Defining India: Through Their Eyes’ by NDTV’s Sonia Singh. His remarks come a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Election Commission’s “capitulation” before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is obvious and the poll watchdog is not feared and respected anymore.

The EC has been criticised by the opposition parties for being allegedly biased towards the BJP. The opposition stepped up its criticism of the poll panel after Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner stating he will be recusing himself from EC meetings as his dissent was not being recorded on clearances given by the poll panel to the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah over alleged poll code violations.