oppn parties Elections 2019: Dance Of Democracy

News Snippets

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  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
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  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
  • Rajeev Dhawan, who represented Muslim parties in the Ayodhya case, dismissed and not taken on board for the review petition
  • ATM card skimming fraud in Kolkata is found to be deeper than previously thought, with more than 5o complaints already recieved
  • Indian warships chased away a Chines vessel found to engage in suspicious activity near the Andaman islands
  • Government asks e-pharmacies to stop selling medicines without licence, which means they will have to shut shop as nither the Central nor the state governments can issue licences to such entities as of now
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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.