EC credibility crisis: 66 ex-bureaucrats write to prez

Sixty-six retired civil servants and former bureaucrats have written a letter to the president of India to register their concern over the functioning of the Election Commission (EC) of India and have cited at least nine instances of alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

According to them, the EC’s “independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency” has been compromised recently and they have cited several examples, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the anti-satellite weapon test, an upcoming biopic on his life, NaMo TV and an alleged incendiary speech by other BJP leaders.

“We are deeply concerned about the weak-kneed conduct of the ECI, which has reduced the credibility of this constitutional body to an all-time low,” the group has written.

Some notable names who endorsed the letter’s message include former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, former foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, former Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, former TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar, former health secretary Keshav Desiraju, former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar and former IPS officer Meeran Borwankar.

“The ECI’s independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are perceived to be compromised today, thereby endangering the integrity of the electoral process, which is the very foundation of Indian democracy. We are distressed to note the misuse, abuse and blatant disregard of the Model Code of Conduct by the ruling party at the Centre, and the ECI’s pusillanimity in coming down with a heavy hand on these violations,” said the group.

A few highlights from the letter:

On the ASAT speech

"Parading the achievements of a government in this manner after the announcement of elections is tantamount to a serious breach of propriety and amounts to giving unfair publicity to the party presently in government and the ECI’s decision does not stand up to the standards of impartiality expected of it."

On film, TV and web series

"This, in our opinion, represents a backdoor effort to garner free publicity for a political person (and his party). In the event that this biopic is released even while the election process is ongoing, we contend that the entire expenses on the production, distribution and publicity of the biopic should be debited to the election expenses of Shri Narendra Modi."

On Namo Tv
"The brazen violation of democratic norms may be seen from the fact that the channel has been added to all subscribers’ accounts “ as a launch offer” with “no option to delete the individual channel.”

 

Ex-Bureaucrats Write To Pre... on Scribd

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EC credibility crisis: 66 ex-bureaucrats write to prez

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