EC doesn't keep up with voter expectation of transparency: Book

EC doesn't keep up with voter expectation of transparency: Book

Election Commission (EC) may be credited for free and fair polls in India, but not all are impressed.

A new book on the challenges faced by India says that the functioning of the Election Commission has not kept pace with the voters’ increasing expectation of transparency within the body. It goes on to say that one gets to know about what is happening inside ‘Nirvachan Sadan’ on Ashoka Road in New Delhi only when there is “some serious disagreement” among its members.

“After the exit of T N Seshan and his colleagues, M S Gill and G V G Krishnamurthy, the functioning of multi-member Election Commission is shrouded in mystery unless it exposes some serious disagreement among its members,” writes veteran journalist V Venkatesan in ‘Constitutional Conundrums: Challenges to India’s Democratic Process’.

He says that the expansion of the Election Commission as a three-member body has given it an opportunity to take decisions in a more democratic manner than what would have been possible under a single member.

“But there has been no close scrutiny of its decisions either in the media or in academic literature,” he adds.

During the recent Lok Sabha elections, differences between Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and his colleague H S Brahma came out in the media regarding certain decisions on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in Varanasi constituency as well as on the long election schedule.

However, he argues that the contribution of the Election Commission to the Indian democracy has not received the scholarly attention it deserves. 

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