Silent Booth Capturing
The Election Commission has a huge responsibility as an agency which conducts the polls and which acts as a regulator during the elections. Over the years the Election Commission of India has achieved high standards of credibility. It conducts the elections in an efficient manner.
In the past one decade the Election Commission has mastered the art of controlling booth capturing. In the past few years it has become extremely difficult to capture booths. However, in the 2014 elections in some states, particularly West Bengal and parts of U.P., a silent booth capturing has been witnessed. A silent booth capturing is a process where central security forces deployed for election duty are not adequately deployed. The central forces are used for non-essential purposes and polling booths continue to be manned by state police and the home guards. This is done at the behest of the district administration. The staff members conducting the polls belong to the state government. Once a coercive environment is created around the polling station by the ruling party the polling agents of the opposition are scared away. It is then a free for all in favour of the ruling party.
A large part of the energies of the Election Commission are being spent in being an ombudsman in the matter of dissecting political speeches. These political speeches at times do cross the Laxman Rekha. In such cases the person concerned has to be censured. Regrettably most of the air time on Television and print media reports are being spent in dissecting these controversial speeches. They are at best a side show. The core of the election is a free and fair polling which is being denied through the silent booth capturing. It would be desirable that the Election Commission concentrate its energies in checking this silent booth capturing since that is its principal job.
The Lokpal Rules
I had repeatedly written to the Prime Minister that the rules framed under the legislation for appointment of the members of the Lokpal were contrary to the Act. They seriously compromise the dignity of the institution inasmuch as the judges were expected to apply for positions and write essays on themselves as to how they were most suited to be a Lokpal. The effort of the UPA government was to rig the appointment process and have pliable Lokpal appointed. However, the system today has become far stronger. It does not allow compromise with fairness. This malafide exercise did not succeed. The whole process including the framing of the rules will now have to start afresh.
The lesson of both the Lokpal and the Snoopgate judge appointment is that the systems are more powerful than the governments. If governments try to fix institutions the iron curtain of the system prevents such exercise.
Neech Rajneeti, chaiwala, Khooni, Hitler, Ganchi, Gangu Teli, Bander, Napunsak, are amongst the various adjectives used by Congress party leaders against Narendra Modi. The Congress party sees nothing wrong in referring to Modi as ‘Neech Rajneeti’ and ‘Harkat’.
I wonder in which category of politics or Rajneeti will corruption in 2G spectrum, and coal block allocation fall. Will the ‘cash for votes’ and Adarsh be considered as ‘Shudh Rajneeti’?