DUTY OF ELECTION COMMISSION : It is the duty of the Election Commission (EC) to ensure that all political actors play by the rules of the game.
ALLEGATION : EC is coming across as selective, partisan, and cowed down by political pressures.
IMPOSED CURBS ON CAMPAIGNING : ECI imposed curbs on campaigning on Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati, Azam Khan and Pragya Singh Thakur, EC showed that along with its moral authority, it has the power and the inclination to act if electoral politics turns communal.
DOES NOT QUESTION MOST POWERFUL : But when it comes to some of the most powerful political leaders in the country, EC has not lived up to expectations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be the PM, but in the electoral battlefield, he is just another leader campaigning hard for his party.
PM Modi has been accused of violating the RP Act, Election Rules and the MCC for the indulgence of hate speeches, repeatedly used the armed forces for political propaganda etc..
WAY FORWARD :
The institution has been a central feature of Indian democracy, and both citizens and the international community have hailed its integrity and independence.
It is time for EC to act in the spirit for which it has been known, strictly enforce the rules of the game, and ensure a level-playing field without fear or favour.
The Election Commission is a rare Indian institution that has, at least since the 1990s, enjoyed enormous public trust. This is trust built on the work of commissioners past, and an election machine that to a large extent has curtailed many egregious electoral malpractices.
In a country of India’s population, size and complexity, just the conduct of largely free and fair elections is a laudable achievement.
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