Recently, the Election Commission of India announced single-phase assembly elections in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. Essentially, elections in these states are being seen significant, as they fall right before the nation goes to the Lok Sabha poll in 2019. It can be said that the results of these elections hold the potential to set the ‘wave’ in the favour of a political party. A general trend suggests that the results are usually in favour of the ruling party at the centre. Considering this, different grimy tricks are being employed by the opposition parties to turn the tide in its favour. We have already covered one such trick in one of our earlier articles, in which we had highlighted that how Congress party tried to fan the violence in the state of Gujarat against migrant workers from the Hindi hinterland.
In yet another attempt to hamper the election process, Congress tried to malign the image of the Election Commission of India, to which even the highest court of India has taken a tough stand.
As per the above report, “the Election Commission of India claimed in the Supreme Court on Thursday (October 4, 2018) that attempts were being made to malign the poll panel and get a favourable order by fabricating the documents in a case filed by Congress leader Kamal Nath, with regard to Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.”
What is the issue?
Around June 2018, Congress claimed that there are around 60 lakh ‘fake voters’ in the electoral lists and made a representation to the Election Commission in this regard. The poll panel had launched the probe then and subsequently rejected the charge of wide-scale discrepancies and fake voters in the list. The Election Commission responding to Congress, reportedly said, “The allegations of large-scale entries of multiple voters in these assembly constituencies is not borne out”. … image repetition found was “not related to multiple entries”.
Later, Congress Leader Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot had filed a petition in the apex court alleging the duplication in the names of voters in the voter’s list of two states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. On October 8, 2018, Supreme court completed the hearing in the matter and reserved the verdict which will be declared soon.
However, the apex court has taken a strong stance in the matter so far, especially in the background of a charge of maligning of reputation of the Election Commission of India, which is no less than the constitutional body, like itself.
The Election Commission has also reiterated its stand that there is an attempt to malign its reputation by fabricating the documents to prove the charges of wide-scale discrepancies in the voter lists in the petitions filed by the Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot.
Interestingly, there looks to be a design of an organised attempt by the Congress Party to discredit the Election Commission of India, which has been known for conducting free and fair elections in the largest democracy of the world.
On October 6, 2018, another senior Congress leader Manish Tiwari tweeted the following:
In his tweet, he had a sarcastic objection to an advertisement by the Election Commission of India, spreading awareness about Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), an exercise which the Election Commission has been historically conducting for any new innovation it brings to the electoral process of the country. Not only the sarcasm was reflected in the tone of the tweet, which starts with ‘WOW’, but it also goes on to take a jibe at election commission saying, “how does it matter to EC whether voting is done by EVM’s or paper ballots”.
It has been noted that there has been a huge increase in the attacks on the government institutions in recent times, whether it is on judiciary or on the Election Commission of India.
If the charge of ‘maligning of reputation’ comes from the Election Commission, a constitutional body of India, then there is something seriously wrong with the opposition’s mindset and protocols.
Political parties, who keep alleging various manipulations in the EVM’s, have never turned up to face the Election Commission’s challenge of proving their allegations. Opposition Parties are continuing with similar tactics of attacking the government institutions and tarnishing their image, merely to fulfil their wish, which is just to win the election.