Showing posts with label Election Commission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Election Commission. Show all posts

Monday, March 24, 2014



If one were to go by the logic of our politicians, particularly the ruling ones, they have two lives — political and personal/private. This makes them enjoy the best of the two lives in one birth — a two in one.

Take note of the recent averments. The External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid criticized two important institutions of the Constitution: the Election Commission (EC) and the Supreme Court (SC) of India on a foreign soil in London. He said: "They are only three (members of EC) and they can decide which word you can use during election campaign. The broad philosophical approach is that you should do and say nothing that wins you an election, you should try your best to lose election," Khurshid was quoted saying.
Commenting on the SC he said: "Judges sit and they say this is not to happen and of course go to the extent of threatening contempt proceedings against officials. Two judges can say anything about parliamentarians that they will be allowed to contest or not, what kind of affidavit they have to file, what they can do and so on," () Later, he also displays the graciousness to deny it altogether, even though every word is there on the audio/video.
On February 26, 2014 the same Minister called Gujarat chief minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate "impotent"  The next day  Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi strongly disapproved Khurshid’s remarks dubbing BJP leader Narendra Modi “impotent” saying “I do not appreciate this kind of comment... the kind of language,” (

Khurshid is not a novice in this craft of speaking out his mind. He opens his mouth but always with a definite design. He has a great history behind. While campaigning for his Congress candidate wife during the last UP Vidhan Sabha elections, he had defied the EC and violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) by promising religion based reservation. When EC took offence, he regretted and EC treated the matter "as closed".  Hardly had the din died down, another Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma took up the gauntlet to adopt the same rebellious posture promising the same benefit to minorities for which the EC had censured Khurshid. Khurshid defiantly he went on to say that he was too willing to attain martyrdom with a smile emphasising that he will continue his crusade "even if they (EC) hang him". He continued to speak in this tone of a martyr till the polling in his wife's constituency was over. The electorate gave him a boot. His wife was pushed down to the fifth position when the counting was over. A distressed EC complained to the President of India against the conduct of the Minister. When the matter came to a boil and polling in his wife's constituency for which he was doing all this was over, Khurshid turned a sober man. In all humility he apologized to the EC saying he had full respect for it. EC too responded very kindly and graciously pardoned the fallen guy.

The same story was repeated in the case of Beni Prasad Verma's defiance.

Another habitual offender is the Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh. He has the secrets of every organization in the world holed up in his chest. He leaks these 'facts' at will when it suits him.  Not once but in dozens of times the Congress party had to disassociate itself from his bold declarations dubbing it as his "personal opinion". Let us quote only one instance of the Batla House encounter case in which the valiant Delhi Police Inspector M. C. Sharma attained martyrdom while fighting terrorists. The Union government decorated this martyr posthumously. The trial court convicted the culprits. Yet Diggy Raja went on a 'pilgrimage' to Azamgarh to express his sympathies with those hauled up by the Police. He even now continues to maintain that the encounter was 'fake' and demands a judicial inquiry although the Congress Home Minister has repeatedly denied Digvijay's allegations and turned down his demand.

A political leader, a minister or a bureaucrat is the official and only official voice of the organization he belongs. What is this humbug of a "personal" view? If it is, it should remain confined to the four walls of privacy. Why should a "private and personal" opinion need to be aired publicly? When whatever they say and do is in the public domain under public glaze and gaze, how does the voice of the same person become other than official when it comes from a similar or the same public platform? Can a Prime Minister, his ministers or even a bureaucrat afford to say — and should say —something that is at variance and in defiance of the official stand? And if they do, can it be dismissed as "private" opinion of an individual?
Another recent case is that of veteran NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. At a gathering of NCP workers on March 22, 2014 he said, "Vote for the 'clock' (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock in Mumbai too". ( An alibi is always at hand to the put the blame on the media saying he was "quoted out of context". And he did that. He went further saying that the particular "meeting was not a political meeting or rally". Pawar needs to understand that a political party is a public organization and not a "private or personal" fiefdom. Further, an overwhelming number of crimes are committed only within "private and personal" premises but that does not suck away the sense of criminality out of the offence to turn it into an act of piety.

All said and done, it is a deliberate and intentional act with a definite design to grab political advantage — and, at times, electoral bounty — by dubbing any statement as "personal" opinion.  

When a person comes to occupy an official or political position in any organization he ceases to have  his right to a "personal and private" opinion in matters of public and to air it publicly. People and the media wish to seek only his official as against his "personal" opinion. If they were not holding that exalted position no media person would waste his time to hanker for a "bite" from him. Do people holding official positions in political organizations or governments ever discuss their "private and personal" family matters and opinion in public?

Our politicians know that their "private and personal" opinion has been well taken and well understood by those sections of the people for which it was targeted and intended,  and from whom they anticipated political or electoral favours. Political leaders stand nothing to lose if, later, they have to claim their words having been "quoted out of context" or they altogether deny their statements or are, at the most, censured by any authority. They have realized the objective for which they say or do something. This helps them derive benefit from both the worlds as one stand will please one section and denial the other.                                                                                                                             ***  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EC needs to be fair & impartial And also appear to be so

EC needs to be fair & impartial
And also appear to be so

It is now manifesting increasingly clear that in deciding on the poll schedule for various elections or bye-elections to fill vacancies in Parliament and State assemblies, Election Commission (EC), at times, appears to have been motivated by considerations unexplained and unconvincing sparking doubts on its obvious fairness and impartiality.

Earlier in 2011 the EC floundered on holding bye-elections to the three casual vacancies in the Karnataka State assembly within the mandatory period of six months on  incredible and contradictory grounds.
This time the EC has once again been found wanting in not holding bye-elections to the Mandi parliamentary constituency in Himachal Pradesh simultaneously with those  in parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, UP and Maharashtra on June 2, 2013.

As a matter of principle and practice, the EC had throughout been announcing the schedule for simultaneous elections and bye-elections to all the vacancies in Parliament or State assemblies which had been by that time notified vacant to it.
Interestingly, on May 3, 2013 in the opening paragraph of the EC Press Note (No. EC/PN/22/2012  only mentions the "clear vacancies in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies" in these States and deliberately or otherwise, hides the fact that the Mandi parliamentary seat had fallen vacant on January 1.
It is interesting to note that while announcing the bye-election schedule for Mandi parliamentary constituency on May 21, 2013 in its Press Note No. ECI/PN/25/2013 the EC tries to explain that it has been able to do so "after taking into consideration various factors like festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc. " It may be worthwhile to point out that in between the date of poll (June 2) in other States and in Himachal Pradesh, no "festival" worth the name took place in Mandi area to hinder holding of polling.

As far as the "weather conditions" were concerned, there was nothing abnormal and unusual this time. In 2004 and 2009 polling in Mandi parliamentary constituency have been held even in the month of May. Going by this year's experience, does it mean that the EC and HP government will not be able to hold polling for parliamentary elections due in May 2014?

It is also interesting to note that general elections to the State assembly of Himachal Pradesh took place on November 4, 2012 while the election process for the State of Gujarat commenced in December yet counting of votes in Himachal assembly elections was ordered to be held simultaneously after about seven weeks on December 20 in order to ensure that the results of Himachal elections did not impact the trend of voting in Gujarat.

On this very EC logic, in all fairness it was all the more necessary that bye-elections for Mandi vacancy should have been held simultaneously with those in Gujarat and in other States lest the results in these bye-elections did not in any way affect the outcome of Mandi poll.

The only excuse – and valid one – the Election Commission has been able to advance is that the "electoral rolls………with reference to 01.01.2013 as the qualifying date and (sic) have been finally published on 6.5.2013." That remains surprising. Why did the EC and the State government fail in their constitutionally mandatory duty to undertake revision and finally publish the same "with reference to 01.01.2013 as the qualifying date" earlier? If 2004 and 2009 elections to Parliament could be held in early May after finally publishing the revised electoral rolls with reference to 1st January 2004 and 1st January 2009 earlier enabling the EC to announce the election schedule as early as March those years, why could it not be done in May this time?

When the electoral rolls stood finally published on 6.5.2013, EC could either have announced the election schedule for Mandi simultaneously or just 3-4 days later because election schedule for other States was announced only on May 3. At the most, EC could have ordered polling to take place, if not earlier, at least on June 5, the day of counting.

It may be by coincidence or by design, but the fact remains that the day of polling has been set to be June 23, the birthday of the Himachal chief Minister Virbhadra Singh whose wife Mrs. Pratibha Singh is the Congress nominee for the constituency. Virbhadra Singh is openly campaigning in the constituency exhorting the voters to give him the "birthday gift" of his wife's (Congress candidate's) victory in election on June 23.

Friday, December 28, 2012



It is not that the important functionaries of the political parties in India, particularly those ruling at the Centre and the States holding ministerial posts are unaware of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct that is enforced by the Election Commission of India (EC) the moment it announces the election schedule for general elections to any State assembly or Parliament or by-elections. Yet they deliberately defy the EC diktat for political and electoral gains.

Now take the recent case of the Oil Minister Verappa Moily announcing the Union Government decision to increase the number of LPG gas cylinders on subsidized basis at the height of Gujarat assembly elections. As is the routine, the EC in a perfunctory manner immediately called for an explanation from the Minister concerned for violating the Code of Conduct. The Hon’ble Minister dutifully submitted his side of the story. The EC issued him a stern warning and the matter ended there.

Similarly, the Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde addressing an election rally in Gujarat told the electorate that it was only Congress President Sonia Gandhi who could appoint a Muslim as chief of the Intelligence Bureau. It was certainly a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and an appeal to the voters on communal lines. Yet, the EC preferred to keep its eyes and ears shut to its own defiance.
It is not that the violations took place only recently. During the UP assembly elections this year, there was spate of violations, mostly at the hands of Union Ministers, obviously with a definite design by Salman Khursheed, Beni Persad Verma, even Rahul Gandhi and the like, to quote only a few names. The other parties contesting the election too were not far behind. In all these cases, the old story was repeated. The EC was as quick to seek explanations and to bury the hatchet by issuing ‘stern warnings’. 

After the elections are over, it looks as if all these instances of deliberate violations are forgotten and forgiven.

The only instance worth mentioning is that of Shiv Sena chief late Bal Thackeray who was hauled up for making a communal speech and his voting rights were withdrawn.

Despite the Model Code of Conduct and the vigilant eye of the EC, the violators of the law and the Commission directives get away with attaining the objectives they have in view when they defy the EC. They make their message reach the constituency of voters intended. The EC warning is just a routine, useless because it cannot in any way undo the mischief that has been created by the action of any political party or its leader.

The ‘stern’ warnings issued each time by the EC to the habitual offenders can be compared to that of a policeman with a gun and lathi in his hand shouting at a thief eloping with the booty of his theft blaring out, “Don’t dare to do it again, otherwise……..”

Certainly, the EC is proving itself to be a toothless tiger which can certainly howl and growl but cannot bite.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Does it not attract rod of election law?
Who calls the shots in Manmohan government?

Addressing an election meeting in a communally sensitive city of Vadodra in Gujarat, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, according to BBC Hindi (December 11, 2012), gave credit to Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, for the appointment of first-ever Muslim as the chief of the Intelligence Bureau. This only Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and no other person (even in Congress?) could do so, he claimed. (
It raises many questions. It establishes the fact that it is the writ of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi which runs in the administration and Prime Minister (for for that matter, Home Minister) are just puppets whose strings are in her hands. It also proves that the Manmohan government is functioning under some extra-constitutional authority like the Congress President who can have full powers in the organization but has no ostensive role in government.
Shinde's claim that it is only Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is a humiliation of the person selected. It gives the impression that he had no merit except the fact that he belonged to the Muslim community.  It is also a fact that he has superseded three-four officers senior to him.
It also raises a question whether any person can be selected/appointed to a post solely on the basis of his belonging to a particular religion/community?
Since Mr. Shinde has made this claim during election campaign in Gujarat, he is not only guilty of indulging in communalism and making a communal appeal to the electorate to vote for Congress, he has also violated the election law.
It remains surprising that the Election Commission has, so far, not taken note of this grave violation of law by a person none other than the Home Minister of India himself.
If the Election Commission could take action against late Bal Thackery for making a communal appeal during elections, why can't it against Mr. Shinde? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

सामायिकी --: मनमोहन सिंह का मुखर मौन == नैतिकता के नए मानदंड

मनमोहन सिंह का मुखर मौन
नैतिकता के नए मानदंड

हमारे प्रधान मंत्री डॉ मनमोहन सिंह राजनीतिक आवश्यकतानुसार मौन धारण कर लेते हैं। वह बहुत समझदार महान व्यक्ति हैं।  भारत की मौलिक समझ-सूझबूझ उनकी रग-रग में  समाई पड़ी है। वह भारतीय ज्ञान के ज्ञाता हैं। देश की लोकोक्तियों का अनुसरण करते हैं और उन पर खरे उतरते हैं। पंजाबी कहावत है कि बूढ़ा सठिया गया है और लोगों के बर्तन उठा कर अपने घर ले आता है (पर इतना समझदार अवश्य है कि वह अपने घर के बर्तन दूसरों के घर नहीं छोड़ आता।) वह मुड़-मुड़ कर खैरात अपनों को ही बांटते हैं, दूसरों को नहीं।
वह यह मानते हैं कि एक चुप और सौ सुख। पंजाबी में कहते हैं कि वह गुजझी (पीछे से छुपी) मार करता है।
पुराने जमाने कि बात सुनाते हैं कि एक व्यक्ति अपने गाँव के मौलवी के पास गया और पूछा कि उसकी गाय यदि मौलवी का खेत चर जाए और बर्बाद कर दे तो? मौलवी तुरंत बोले यह तो बड़ा अपराध है और तुम्हें तो इस पर कड़ी सज़ा मिलनी चाहिए। व्यक्ति ने आगे पूछा कि यदि आपकी गाय मेरे खेत का नुक्सान कर दे तो? अपना न्याय सुनाते हुये मौलवी बोले, तब और बात है। ऐसा ही न्याय हमारे प्रधान मंत्री और कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष श्रीमति सोनिया गांधी करते हैं।
जब तो किसी ग़ैर-कांग्रेसी नेता पर लोकायुक्त कोई अपना फतवा सुनाता है तो हमारे प्रधान मंत्री व उनकी प्रणेता श्रीमति सोनिया गांधी नैतिकता की दुहाई देकर कहती हैं कि उसे तुरंत त्यागपत्र दे देना चाहिए और उसे जेल भेज देना चाहिए। कर्नाटक मैं तत्कालीन मुख्य मंत्री येदुईरप्पा के लिए उन्होंने यही नैतिक मानदंड रखा। पर जब कर्नाटक के उसी लोकायुक्त ने उनके विदेश मंत्री एस एम कृष्णा के विरुद्ध उसी प्रकार का मुक़द्दमा दायर कर देने का आदेश दिया तो डॉक्टर मनमोहन सिंह और श्रीमति गांधी अपनी नैतिकता कि ऊंचाई भूल गए। तब उनके त्यागपत्र की मांग पर मौन हो गये। उन्हों ने समझ लिया कि एक चुप और सौ सुख।
जब दिल्ली के लोकायुक्त ने दिल्ली के एक मंत्री चौहान को दोषी पाया और उसे पदच्युत कर देने के लिए कहा तो ये दोनो महानुभाव लोकायुक्त की ही उस सिफ़ारिश पर बड़े जज बन बैठे और उसके निर्णय पर अपना महान नैतिक निर्णय सुना दिया कि चौहान निर्दोष हैं और उन्हें ससम्मान अपने गौरवशाली पद को सुशोभित करते रहना चाहिए।
जम्मू-कश्मीर के एक कांग्रेसी शिक्षा मंत्री हैं जो प्रदेश में शिक्षार्थियों को शिक्षा के साथ-साथ नैतिकता का पाठ भी पढाते है। हाल ही में उनके विरुद्ध यह साबित हो गया कि उन्हों ने अपने बच्चे को पास करवाने के लिए अपने पद का दुरुपयोग किया। मंत्री महोदय ने अपनी नैतिक ज़िम्मेदारी कबूल करते हुये पद से त्यागपत्र दे दिया। पर कांग्रेस ने उससे भी ऊंची नैतिकता का परिचय देते हुये उन मंत्री महोदेय का त्यागपत्र ठुकरा दिया और अपने पद पर बने रह कर बच्चों को बराबर नैतिकता का पाठ पढ़ाते रहने का निर्देश दिया। एक मर्यादित-अनुशासित महानुभाव के नाते उन्हों ने भी पार्टी हाई कमान का फरमान सिरमाथे लेते हुये पद पर बने रह कर पहले से भी अधिक ज़ोर-शोर से अपने व पार्टी के महान आदर्शों पर चलते हुये प्रदेश और जनता की निरंतर सेवा करते रहने का पुनः प्रण ले लिया।
उधर केन्द्रीय कानून मंत्री सलमान खुर्शीद ने मुसलमानों को आरक्षण का प्रलोभन देकर चुनाव आचार संहिता का उल्लंघन कर कानून की धज्जियां उड़ाते हुये संविधान की एक सममाननीय संस्था चुनाव आयोग की खूब खिल्ली उड़ाई। उसके अधिकारों चुनौती भी दी। यहाँ तक कह दिया कि यदि चुनाव आयोग उन्हें सूली पर भी लटका दे तो भी वह यह करते हुये खुशी-खुशी शहीदी प्राप्त करने से पीछे नहीं हटेंगे। चुनाव आयोग ने खुर्शीद की शिकायत राष्ट्रपति महोदया से कर दी जिसे उन्हों ने प्रधान मंत्री जी को कार्यवाही के लिए भेज दिया। सलमान खुर्शीद के आचरण पर सारे देश में हो-हँगामा हुआ पर हमारे प्रधान मंत्री थे कि उनके कान पर जूं तक न रींगी। कानून बनाने वाले उनके ही एक वरिष्ठ मंत्री द्वारा कानून की पीठ में छुरा घोंप देने की घटना भी उनकी ज़ुबान का ताला न तोड़ सकी। अंततः चुपचाप उन्हों ने मंत्री महोदय से अपने आचरण पर चुनाव आयोग से क्षमा मँगवा दी। चुनाव आयोग ने भी मामला यहीं समाप्त कर दिया। वैसे भी बात को आगे बढ़ाने का कोई तुक अब बचा नहीं था। सलमान ने और पार्टी ने मुसलमानों तक अपना संदेश पहुंचाना था वह पहुंचा दिया था। उसका उद्देश्य भी पूरा हो चुका था। इस प्रकार कांग्रेस व सरकार ने अपनी खाल बचा ली।  
पर प्रश्न तो फिर भी रह गया? क्या इस प्रकार कांग्रेस व मनमोहन सरकार ने न्याय का यह नया मानदंड स्थापित कर दिया है? क्या भविष्य में कोई कितना भी बड़ा अपराध क्यों न कर दे, उसे भी क्षमा मांग लेने पर सलमान खुर्शीद की तरह ही सूली पर लटकने से बचा  लिया जाएगा और उसे मुआफ कर दिया जाया करेगा?