…The Election Commission of India, once a formidable force during elections as poll monitor, is now being heard less and less, or only for its feeble interventions. The election process has only just begun but there is already a long list of interventions by the players that have seemed to challenge, if not outrightly flout, the Model Code of Conduct, and get away with it.…
The Model Code of Conduct, which is routinely invoked, is more spirit, less letter – primarily, a moral and ethical restraint on parties in the poll fray. Yet, it is also true that the EC has, in the past, used its subtle powers to greater effect. It has amplified its influence by its vigilance and impartiality. As a result, the EC’s censure was deemed to be embarrassing to the censured, it was a rebuke that mattered.
By all indications, the EC’s reprimand is losing its power to chasten. It is also evident that this is not just because of a larger coarsening of the political discourse, but more specifically, due to the EC’s own unwillingness or inability, or both, to push back at a time when the political executive is strong and overweening. This depletion of the EC’s stature is troubling and must be reversed – much depends on it in an exuberant and boisterous democracy.
- The art of deceit: the BJP’s before and after menus – By Ruchir Joshi (Apr 9, 2019, The Telegraph)
- How Election Commission runs poll machinery – By Ritika Chopra (Apr 8, 2019, Indian Express)
- India Today detects fake news virus infecting poll campaign – By Nitin Jain, Syed Masroor and Hasan Divyesh Singh(Apr 9, 2019, India Today)
- The reign of an unchallenged overlordship – By Sankarshan Thakur (Apr 3, 2019, The Telegraph)