oppn parties Election Commission Needs To Clean Up Its Act

News Snippets

  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
oppn parties
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.