Further erosion of prestige of Election Commission
Posted January 12, 2015on:
The prestige of Election Commission of India has further gone down as questions are being once again raised about its competence and integrity. The Commission has revealed presence of over 1.2 lakh bogus voters in the electoral lists of Delhi which is going to the polls soon. What is saddening is that the Election Commission did it only after its working was severely criticised by Delhi High Court.
Discovery of over six lakh forgeries in the electoral rolls in Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected with a margin of three lakh and odd votes, should have made the Election Commission sit up and take caution against the machinations of unscrupulous elements. Sadly, it did not. It did not care when AAP and Congress party leaders drew its attention to the bogus entries in the voters’ lists in Delhi. It gives no credit to the Election Commission that the judiciary has to intervene on what should have been a routine matter.
Earlier this month, Delhi High Court pulled up the Election Commission and asked it what action it had taken on the allegation about the presence of a large number of bogus voters in various Assembly constituencies of the national capital. “What is the cause of it? Obviously someone is not doing their job properly. Last year, my photograph was also wrong,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said while directing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi to file an affidavit “indicating the cause of error”.
The court said there were “discrepancies” in the electoral rolls as shown by the petitioner, Naresh Kumar, who had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket from Mundka in the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls. The court also said the allegation that there were many persons in the city who had numerous voter cards in their name but with different addresses needed to be rectified if they were still existing.
In response to the complaints by Aam Aadmi Party and Congress that Delhi’s electoral rolls carried names of a large number of bogus voters, Election Commission wrote to the two parties on January 11 that 1,20,605 duplications had been noticed in the electoral rolls. Election Commission’s response came two days before it was scheduled to file an affidavit in the High Court.
Is Election Commission allowing itself to be manipulated or is it a matter of sheer inefficiency? In either case, it does not help the cause of democracy.