oppn parties Election Commission Needs To Clean Up Its Act

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Election Commission Needs To Clean Up Its Act

By Sunil Garodia

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.