Voices Friday, September 12, 2014 - 05:30
By Akanksha Kumar “I will never forget 30 April. One can understand if someone points (threatens with) a knife, a pistol or a gun (and FIR is registered). But do you know why FIR was registered against me? Because I showed a lotus to the people," this was how BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi responded hours after the Election Commission ordered the Gujarat administration to register an FIR against him. Modi is definitely not that naïve and gullible to claim his innocence as he tried to reach out to his supporters but like many other belonging to his ilk he too doesn't care two hoots about the EC and dignity associated with it. A simple sorry would have deflated the ego of the seemingly-would-be-PM and thus follows a barb against the institution that is supreme by virtue of power instated by the constitution of India. Another tamasha unfolded in the state where Didi the dictator warned the EC there could be law and order problem if the EC went ahead with its scheduled transfer of officials. Yes Mamata Banerjee did yield to the EC but after an ugly face off that made the EC look helpless in midst of an unwarranted controversy. While Amit Shah did apologize formally to the EC lest he had lost the chance of spewing more venom his other counterpart in UP, Azam Khan was in no mood to give it up so easily. “Does the EC consider itself above the Supreme Court”, roared the Rampur lion who doesn’t mind stoking the communal fire by invoking Islam in the name of Kargil war. Article 324 of the Constitution establishes the superintendence of the Election Commission in terms of laying down a framework of appointment of requisite officers and ensuring that elections are conducted in a fair manner. Nowhere has it been defined what happens if things go haywire, what if political players put blinkers on and pretend that the Election Commission doesn’t exist.The Supreme Court did try to strengthen the Commission by vesting it with powers “to ensure that the country shall be governed in its true secular, socialist, democratic prospective” in Bhim Singh vs Election Commission (1996) with Justice Krishna Iyer in the 1978 judgment of Mohinder Singh Gill vs The Election Commissioner going as far to say to make use of the vacuous Article 324 in its favor and tackle with a situation. “Every contingency could not be foreseen, or anticipated with precision. That is why there is no hedging in Article 324. The Commission may be required to cope with some situation which may not be provided for in the enacted laws and the rules.” Censures, notices and ban on rallies it seems the EC has real shortage of weapons in its quiver. Is it a battle some may ask, of course it is, in a scenario where hate speeches are much more than a mere slip of tongue. It’s that lethal weapon in the hands of wily politician which enables them to polarize voters without dispensing much energy. Disciplinary proceedings need to be much more than warnings which one tends to take for granted. When the heads of two states cock a snook at a constitutional body it just reveals the convoluted mindset with which the Election Commission is perceived. At no point did the founders of our country create institutions to terrorize or torment anyone, but shouldn't the cane be handed over to the Head Master to properly deal with the ruffians of the class? Akanksha Kumar is a researcher at NDTV 24*7 News Channel The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same.
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.