Editorial: EC As An Umpire

Editorial: EC As An Umpire

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 08:09 PM IST
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Election Commission of India | File Pic

The Chief Election Commissioner has taken decisive action by removing six home secretaries from their posts for holding dual charges in the offices of the chief ministers concerned. Additionally, all state governments have been directed to replace officers serving in district posts for more than three years from election duty. Notable figures such as Rajeev Kumar, Director-General of Police of West Bengal, and IS Chahal, Commissioner of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, have also been ousted in this process. While these actions may seem routine, they underscore the Election Commission’s commitment to ensuring free and fair elections.

However, amidst these commendable efforts, it is crucial to acknowledge the commission’s tendency to overlook more egregious violations of the model code of conduct, already in force. For instance, the election schedule, spanning seven phases, has drawn widespread criticism for potentially favoring the ruling party. Critics argue that this extended schedule plays into the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which alone possesses the financial resources to sustain an extensive campaign. Moreover, the inclusion of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, in the final phase grants him ample opportunity to traverse the nation for campaigning, granting an unfair advantage.

In light of such concerns, it is imperative for the Election Commission to swiftly address violations, regardless of the perpetrator’s political affiliation and position. As one of the few institutions still trusted by the populace, the commission must uphold the highest standards of integrity. Its members must emulate Caesar’s wife, remaining beyond reproach. Only by demonstrating unwavering commitment to impartiality can the Election Commission maintain public trust and uphold the principles of democracy. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the commission to take decisive, prompt, and unbiased action to ensure a level playing field for all political parties.

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