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Is Election Commission unable to conduct free and fair elections?
Lok Sabha Elections 2014 will be remembered for two major things. First, this is perhaps for the first time in the history of electoral politics that instead of the ruling party at the centre, prime target of the elections is the leader of an opposition party i.e. Narendra Modi. Second, Election Commission was never seen as so much “helpless”, as is being seen in the ongoing Elections.

It is the prime function and duty of the Election Commission to ensure and conduct the free and fair elections in the country. To achieve this, the highest poll body has been given adequate powers, including the power to enforce the Model Code of Conduct after the announcement of the poll schedule.

We have noticed several cases of violations of the Model Code of Conduct in the ongoing elections and the entire blame for these violations should go to none other than the Election Commission itself. After the Model Code of Conduct came into force, several poll code violations of serious nature were reported in the Media. Unfortunately Election Commission either ignored these serious violations or just took the action, which could best be termed as-“too little and too late.” Here are some instances where the poll body neither took any action nor reprimanded the violator:

1. The first case of poll code violation was reported when U.P. Police registered a sedition case against 67 students of a Meerut based University , who were caught ,shouting-“Pakistan Zindabad” slogans after Pakistan won a Cricket match. J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ensured that the sedition charges from these students are withdrawn to “appease” the minority community for furthering their vote bank politics. The Election Commission should have taken a very serious note of this incident and brought all these poll code violators to realise their mistake. Unfortunately, Election Commission, simply ignored this serious poll code violation, which encouraged leaders of the other political parties to indulge in the similar tactics for their political gains.

2. The second major case of poll code violation was reported, when the Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi met Shahi Imam and ensured that he issues an appeal to the Minority Community for voting in favor of the Congress Party. Surprisingly and shockingly, Election Commission, did not take any action in this matter also.

3. The third major case of poll code violation was reported when SP Leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, while addressing an election rally, defended the “rape” committed by the youngsters as a “mistake”. His another party leader Abu Azmi, gone a step further while addressing an election rally and desired that  for reporting the rape crimes, women should be punished instead. Election Commssion did not take any action against these two poll code violators.

4. Election Commission displayed some promptness in taking the action against the Congress Leader from Saharanpur Imran Masood followed by similar actions against Azam Khan, Amit Shah, Giriraj Kishore, Baba Ramdev and Narendra Modi. However, the promptness, which was shown by the poll body in these cases, was altogether missing in all other instances of serious poll code violations.

5. Farooq Abdullah, Mamta Banerjee, Lalu Yadav and Beni Prasad Verma are the habitual poll code violators and poll body did not take any action against these persons.

Election Commission, not only failed in enforcing the Model Code of Conduct, it also failed to ensure the free and fair elections, specially, in the remote areas across the country.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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