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EC defers decision on Godhra report

By J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI, JAN. 20. The Election Commission today deferred its decision on whether the release of the Justice U.C. Banerjee report on the Godhra train tragedy on the eve of the Assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana violated the model code of conduct.

Sources said that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), T. S. Krishnamurthy, presided over a meeting held this evening to consider the complaints from the Bharatiya Janata Party and others on the release of the report and its use for political purposes. The two Election Commissioners, B.B. Tandon and N. Gopalaswami, also attended the meeting.

Sources said that the meeting reviewed the progress of the preparations for the elections by the three States, as well as the security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the polls.

Regarding the Godhra report, it was said that the CEC had already made the Commission's position clear that it should not be used by the parties for political advantage and no communal colour should be given to the report's findings .

The meeting decided to give sufficient time to the political parties to mend their ways.

It was also decided that the question of taking action would arise only if the parties defied the code and other directions of the Commission.

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