oppn parties Election Commission Needs To Clean Up Its Act

News Snippets

  • China bans access to Indian news websites
  • PM Modi says that as Unlock-02 kicks in and more people resume working, people have to follow the rules even more religiously
  • PM Modi says that all citizens need to be vigilant against people who do not follow the rules in force, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing
  • PM Modi warns the country that with the onset of the monsoon, more seasonal diseases will strike and citizens have to be more disciplined
  • Hero Cycles to buy the struggling Atlas Cycle group
  • RIL to buy the retail businesses of Future Group
  • Import licensing to be put in place for AC's TV's and other non-essential items
  • Rafale to deliver the first batch of the fighter jets to India by the end of July
  • J&K separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the most visible face of the Hurriyat, broke all relations with the forum
  • Nearly 20000 new Covid cases reported in India on Sunday. 384 deaths reported
  • Even as the Centre checks Chinese shipments for viruses and malware, transport minister Nitin Gadkari says holding up consignments at ports will hit India more than China
  • Fuel retailers in J&K asked to stock up on LPG cylinders for two months due to fear over the closure of roads because of landslides and flooding in the monsoons. But it triggers wild speculations about war with China
  • Amazon to hire 20000 temporary staff in addition to the 50000 seasonal staff it hired recently
  • RBI board thinks of relaxing norms for NPAs. The 90-day recognition might be extended to 180 days due to widespread distress due to the lockdown
  • Google and Apple approach the government to include their API in Aarogya Setu app for contact tracing of Covid-19 infected persons
PM Modi announces extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the free ration scheme for the poor, until November
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Election Commission Needs To Clean Up Its Act

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-05-20 16:54:03

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The news about differences in the Election Commission (EC) over the action taken in respect of complaints of violations of model code of conduct (MCC) against Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah are both disconcerting and disturbing. While Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora has sought to underplay the same by saying that differences will always exist as election commissioners are not expected to be “clones” of each other, the very fact that Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s dissenting remarks were not recorded in the final order in one case is a serious deviation from the past and needs to be condemned. Matters came to such a pass that Lavasa subsequently recused himself from meetings called to discuss violations of the MCC.

It is no one’s case that all three commissioners should think in the same manner on all issues. They are not programmed robots. Bodies with multiple members are designed to encourage healthy debate and diversity of opinion on every issue. But the bottom line is that all such opinions should be recorded in the final orders of the body to let the public know how and why the final decision was arrived at. If Ashok Lavasa thought the EC was being too lenient on PM Modi and Amit Shah, he must have had his reasons. The public has the right to know the same.

The EC is an independent body tasked with conducting free and fair elections. A free and fair election does not only mean one that is free from instances of rigging or other malpractices. It also means that all contestants are provided equal opportunity in all respects. Since opponents will always complain against each other on the smallest of issues, it is not expected that the EC will wield the rod every time. But the manner in which the EC first informed the Supreme Court that it was helpless and then got cracking after the court indicated that it might examine its powers shows that the EC was either not aware of its own powers or was unwilling use them for some reason. In these elections, an impression has been created that the EC was lenient with Modi and Shah. It is not good for the independence of the body.