India election: Miserable failure - GulfToday

India election: Miserable failure

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The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The Election Commission’s task is to ensure that elections are held in a fair and just manner. It is the guardian of the whole election process and when it fails, it destroys the fabric of not only the institution but of whole polling exercise (“SC tell EC to act swiftly on Congress complaints,” May 3, Gulf Today).

As an Indian citizen I am ashamed that the Supreme Court has to rap the Commission over and over again. I remember the EC as an entity of integrity and credibility. Sadly now it is failing to live up to that reputation. No wonder voters are losing trust.

The opposition has brought to its notice various instances of the model of code of conduct being blatantly violated by members of the ruling government, but the Commission by pleading helplessness is bringing the office to disrepute.

The EC had in its code barred campaigners and candidates from propaganda involving armed forces, and as always use of religion, caste and other divisive factors invite strict penalties. But electioneering this year has seen all this being flouted with impunity. By taking an inordinately long time to decide on the complaints the EC has miserably failed in its duty.  Former Chief Election Commissioner T.N. Seshan is remembered even today for the stellar job he did in regulating the election process in India. He was needed now more than ever.

Rafiq Shahzad

By email