oppn parties Elections 2019: Dance Of Democracy

News Snippets

  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
  • US President Donald Trump lands in Ahmedabad, received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi
  • US President Donald Trump to land in India today
Continuing violence in Delhi takes the sheen off the visit by US President Donald Trump
oppn parties
Elections 2019: Dance Of Democracy

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2019-03-11 12:06:43

As expected, the Election Commission has declared the schedule of the general elections over the weekend. The elections will be held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19, with counting and results on May 23. Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh voters will simultaneously elect their state assemblies. The commission has decided not to hold assembly elections in J&K for now as the security situation has not improved.

The commission took pains to show that despite the increase in booths from 9 lakhs in 2014 to 10 lakhs this year, it has managed to so design the exercise that the phases have reduced from 9 in 2014 to 7 now. The commission also said that there will be 100% VVPAT deployment and trail coverage in at least one booth per segment. Pictures of candidates will also be displayed on the EVMs. It also said that social media entities have been warned about fake and paid news. The commission assured the country that it is well prepared to ensure free and fair elections.

Although the period of 5 weeks and four days to complete the exercise will seem stretched, given the nature of Indian elections- with money and muscle power ruling the roost - the need is to ensure that the elections are held in a free, fair and peaceful manner. To achieve this, the deployment of security personnel has to be optimum and this can only be done by phasing the elections in a manner that the desired deployment can take place without glitches. Along with this, the commission has to factor in exam schedules and preferences of states before taking the decision. Hence, it is good that the exercise will be completed in just 7 phases.

By the evening of May 23, the country will know who will govern it for the next five years. Although the commission could have advanced this date by two days given that everything has now gone digital, one can grant it the time as huge logistics are involved. It is always better to be safe than be sorry. Indian elections have continuously set benchmarks for efficiency and one is hopeful this time will not be any different. It is also hoped that the record of 66% voting achieved in 2014 will be shattered this year as voter awareness is at its peak.