Trust in Indian Election Commission has taken a severe beating - GulfToday

Trust in Indian Election Commission has taken a severe beating

Narendra Modi

I fully agree with the author that Modi and his government’s machinery have contributed substantially to the cause of opposition unity, though unintentionally in this case (“Opposition unites to fight EC’s Bengal decision,” May 17, Gulf Today).

But the situation has been no different is the earlier phases of campaigning. The BJP’s polarised electioneering has indeed helped regional parties bolster their position and in some cases, put their might behind the Congress party. The Election Commission acts of commission and omission are deplorable, and its latest act to curtailing campaigning in the crucial state of Bengal has further eroded its credibility.

The EC is duty-bound to be neutral and function as the watchdog of the poll process. But its functioning has come under serious review with the Supreme Court pulling it up repeatedly for going slow on complaints lodged by political parties, more specifically against the ruling party. Brazen acts of violence and multiple cases of religious hate speeches have gone unpunished, and now this.

Bengal is key state of the final phase and so the stakes are high. If the state was unfit for campaigning because of violence, then the EC should have banned electioneering with immediate effect and not after Modi has finished his rallies. The EC’s move lends credibility to the opposition’s assertion that the EC is biased.

Our trust in the EC has taken a severe beating. Will the remaining part of the poll process which includes vote counting and declaration of results, be fairly conducted?

Rohit Srivastava

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