Election Commission’s credibility nosedives
Posted November 26, 2014on:
Varanasi, one of the holiest of the cities, shot into limelight in the beginning of this year for reasons other than religious or spiritual. BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had announced his decision to contest for Lok Sabha from Varanasi constituency. That catapulted Varanasi into the most watched city, by politicians, by the media, by professionals, by common people and, most importantly, by Election Commission of India (ECI).
As was expected, Varanasi witnessed a high-pitched electoral battle. Modi was declared elected by a margin of 3,71,784 votes over his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of AAP. The Congress candidate came third followed by that of BSP. Modi’s party, with as well as without its electoral allies, won a majority of the seats in Lok Sabha. Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 26.
As a routine revision of the voters’ lists was held this month, it came out that 3,11,057 fake voters had cast their votes in the May Lok Sabha polling in Varanasi. This figure had come out at the initial stage itself. The district administration expected the number of fake voters to go up to 6,47,085 by the time the revision of the entire constituency was completed. This is quite a mind boggling figure. Even three lakh fake voters in a single high-profile constituency is exceptionable.
Election Commission had of late been trying hard to gain greater credibility. But the Sampath-Brahma-Zaidi trio has reversed the process. A question mark now hangs over its credibility after the discovery of lakhs of fake voters in Prime Minister Modi’s constituency. Forgery of such a gigantic magnitude could not have been possible without the complicity of the Election Commission machinery. One should be excused for presuming that only the touts and pimps were assigned the duty as observers and micro-observers in Varanasi.
The people’s faith in the integrity of the Election Commission of India has been badly shaken, though it is difficult to say at this stage in which form it will manifest.