Sanctity of poll -Sam Rajappa
Assembly elections in the States of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry to be held between 27 March and 29 April come at a time the prestigious US-based Freedom House report has lowered India’s rank from a “free” to a “partially free” country and Sweden’s V-Dem Institute which once described India as the world’s largest democracy as an “electoral autocracy.”
The government can either look inwards and explore the causes of this decline in standards of democracy or brazen it out as it has done in the case of defending the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The BJP’s unrelenting pursuit of capturing power in West Bengal where it won only three seats in 2016 and in Puducherry where it drew a blank, and make its presence felt in Tamil Nadu where it has no presence at all, has cast a huge burden on the Election Commission of India. The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment, had placed the ECI and its head among the most important “institutions of integrity.”
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The Statesman, 21 March, 2021, https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/sanctity-of-poll-1502958613.html/amp?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR1WAjYyy5ze9TbvodDeA_OZNsF2F8wKTyC_AgsmBymy1Og5iEHbnHZeCoM
Tagged with: Electoral Democracy Electoral Autocracy Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 V-Dem Institute Constitutional Conduct Group Association for Democratic Reforms Forum for Electoral Integrity Election Commission Election Commission of India Assembly Polls Assembly Elections Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail VVPAT