Saturday, May 10, 2014

[prpoint] Two and half cheers (instead of three cheers) to our Election Commission - Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.



In the Feb and March 2014 editions of our ezine PreSense, we have written lead articles on Indian Election Commission and appreciating and admiring their efforts in conducting  the world's largest election smoothly.

Though, we do not doubt the integrity of the members of the Election Commission, some of their actions have brought some credibility crisis to the Commission in the past few days.  It has given an impression that EC has succumbed to political pressures.

It is not an easy task to conduct the elections with nearly 820 million voters and one crore Government forces.  Though during the election time, the officials come under the Election Commission, after the results are declared, all the officials may have to report back to their erstwhile political bosses.  Probably this has made many of the district level officials to show favour to the ruling party in the respective states. Even when some action is  done without the knowledge of the Commission, the blame goes only to the Election Commission. EC does not have any teeth to punish the officials too.  

Why 144 in Tamil Nadu?

Two weeks back, when Tamil Nadu went for polls on a single day,  the Election Commission imposed 144 throughout the state for two days.   Tamil Nadu is not a state with huge law and order problem.  No where in the country, 144 is imposed for the entire state for two days during election. Using this 144, it is alleged that one of the major parties distributed money to the voters.  Still it is a mystery as to  why 144 was imposed only in Tamil Nadu, when there was no threat.

60 lakhs voters missing in Maharashtra

It is reported  that more than 60 lakhs names have been removed from the voters list in Maharashtra.  60 lakh voters is not a small figure in a state.  That can decide the fate of many parties and even the country.  It is alleged that the contract was given to a politically connected person to update the voters.  Election Commission cannot avoid responsibility on this.  Missing of names in the voters list is seen in other states also. 

Modi vs EC

When Narendra Modi was talking to the media at Gandhi Nagar, he addressed the media showing the party symbol.  Within few minutes, Election Commission ordered to file an FIR under 126 of RP Act. The order was issued in a hurry without verifying the facts.  Later, it was known that the press was kept beyond 100 meters.  Still it is a mystery as to why EC ordered to file FIR hurriedly.  I understand that FIR could not be filed, since there was no violation.  On the other hand, When there was a complaint by BJP against Rahul Gandhi for his inciting speech, not even a show cause notice was issued for 9 days. 

Narendra Modi, the candidate, was denied permission to address a rally at Varanasi on security reasons.  But in the same place other leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal have been permitted to address a rally.   Such actions are seen with suspicion. 

Now I am pained to see the TV channels conducting shows on the actions or inactions of EC.  Even Brahma, one of the members of EC has admitted in CNN IBN that their actions have brought down the credibility.  It is mainly because of the lack of transparent communication  and lack of control over the officials who are more loyal to the rulers of the state.  

In the past 65 years, Indian Election Commission has done excellent job.  They have made every Indian proud.  Even other countries like US and UK are wondering about our election process.  

Now the elections are completed in all the constituencies, excepting for 30 plus constituencies.  I appreciate and admire the efforts put in by the EC braving all challenges.

Generally when we greet a success, we always say 'three cheers'. Now, due to some mess up (knowingly or unknowingly) by the EC, I want to give two and half cheers to EC. :)

Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.  

Prime Point

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