Trust The Constitution
Trust The Constitution
So, the long Election Battle has come to an end with a Dream Result. Not many would have expected this given the multiple avenues exploited by the Reigning Rulers. But that is past now.
While the Victors are rightfully engaged gleefully celebrating the exploits, the Vanquished are still trying to find their feet. The defining silence in the camp of the parties that have lost in the election speaks loudly about the Power of the People to decide the course the Nation needs to take.
While The Dynasty would be now busy in ‘Detoxifying’ itself from the ‘Zeher of Satta’ , the ‘Feudal’ Lords and Pseudo-Secularism Oriented Opportunists would reveal their flexible Morality to encounter the perceived threat that the Election Results have brought.
The casualties have been many. There have been unbelievable results in UP, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand , Bihar, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Results have thrown up the new Dynamics of India that aspires to break away from the Caste, Clan and Religion based exploitation of the Nation by a handful of cunning individuals.
But what this Election 2014 has thrown up as a subject of discussion is the Electoral System of India. Traditionally, the Election Commission (EC) in India has been considered to be a Fair and Transparent Institution. Perhaps, this Election came close to raising fingers on that unblemished record of the EC.
Nonetheless, some very important facts came to light and remained unresolved in the Process. It is time to take up these concerns.
The EVMs have been a source of suspicion throughout the Election. All parties participating in the Election have expressed their concern. After Losing the Election in Mumbai , Sanjay Nirupam has alleged tampering of EVMs by Amit Shah. Rahul Gandhi has been reported to have attempted to repair EVMs in Amethi. EC needs to share with the People the details of every EVM that has been questioned by any of the contestants.
Deletion of Names from the Electoral Rolls caused a huge ripple in many places. An estimated 60 lakh voters across the nation were deprived of their Right to Franchise. This is a denial of a Constitutional Right. Despite the Election being a long 9 phase event with sufficient cushion of time, the EC did not find time to repair the Rolls. The seriousness of deletion of Names from Electoral Rolls appears to have not been given the appropriate weightage by the EC.
The EC has also been rather tentative in its implementation of the Model Code of Conduct. Violations started within hours of the declaration of the Election 2014. It would be rather important that all the violations reported to the EC and the actions taken be made available to the Public. The Lead time taken by EC to initiate action after receiving the report of Violation also needs to be not only reviewed but also made available in the Public Domain. All the bases of such action or inaction must be clearly documented.
If a Code of Conduct does not help in ensuring adherence, it is no Model. And the defect lies in the implementation and not the Code itself. EC owes an explanation to the Nation being the Implementation Agency of the Code.
After having conducted the Election 2014 in the manner that EC has done, it would be interesting to know why it was a 9 phase event and why it could not have been done in lesser number of phases. Why was it that a single day polling could not be done in some states while it could be done in some other states. Was it a resource constraint? What were the estimated resources required and by how much did the resources fall short of the estimation, had the EC decided for a single day Voting in States like UP ?
People of the Nation are the Largest Stakeholders of the Constitution. In an age of Technology pervading all areas of life, for some curious reason, the EC chose to keep the Electorate entirely plugged out of the happenings. Instead of allowing news reports to confuse the Public about the activities of the EC, it would be better to open channels of communication through Social Media ensuring authorized status updates to quell the doubts of the People.
There are many legislative reforms that are also needed. Surely, the new Government would take it into consideration and bring an age of Transparent and Trustworthy Electoral Process. Till then, time for EC to retrospect and engage with the Electorate to bring back the lost Trust.