- Most often than not, the Election Commission of India finds itself in the firing line of the opposition parties facing diatribes and uncomfortable question marks about its neutrality. Though the popular belief contrasts the general opinion that mentions holding the constitutional body in high regard. Undoubtedly, the EC has acquired a reputation of discharging their responsibilities with utmost dedication, commitment, and more than satisfactory deliverance whilst conducting various forms of elections. Make no mistake, it is an onerous task undertaking elections in a country as diverse and widespread as ours with distant geographical locations posing even bigger challenges in the smooth conduct of polls.
PC: Meera Emmanuel
- Of course, the EC also faces perpetual conducting of one or the other form of elections, including the by-polls necessitated owing to different reasons. No reason why due credit should not be accorded, and the EC definitely deserves fulsome appreciation for upholding the virtues of its mandate despite facing flak and challenges, alike. The pandemic has brought its share of challenges and the EC too had to endure unique situations arising out of the restrictions imposed to tackle the menace. Since the virus spreads alarmingly when social distancing norms prescribed are compromised, the EC had to formulate certain guidelines keeping in mind the pandemic threats. Here, the EC could have done much better is the underlying opinion amongst the populace.
- As we are aware, the Indian elections are always about gigantic rallies, teeming crowds, swarming workers, and spectacular roadshows akin to festivity undertaken by political parties to influence the voters. No Indian elections are construed as complete without the cacophonic paraphernalia associated with the active participation of thousands of humanities participating in the occasion. The rampaging second wave duly demonstrated what would be the repercussions if we let our guard down in diligently following the safety and health protocols as the long winding elections in some of the states proved to be a decisive factor in the unprecedented spread of the virus. In hindsight, the EC could have curtailed the multiple stages to a bare minimum and also enforcing stricter restrictions for political parties.
PC: P Kharel
- There are crucial by-polls that are to be undertaken, especially in West Bengal, where the incumbent Chief Minister faces a 6-month deadline to avert a possible constitutional crisis. In a welcome and pragmatic move, the EC has allowed the by-polls in West Bengal but judiciously deferred three parliamentary and 31 assembly polls across the country considering the Covid pandemic which continues to pose threats of spread. Coming months will also test the EC when some of the most crucial states, including Uttar Pradesh, will gear up for the assembly elections against the backdrop of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The EC should issue unambiguous guidelines to such states to press ahead with the vaccination drive to cover all eligible adults. Yes, strict guidelines mandating the wearing of masks and social distancing by allowing no quarters to even political leaders and parties should also be circulated.