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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:35 am

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:35 am

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Applaud the EC for smoothly navigating all six steps without experiencing any significant problems.

Applaud the EC for smoothly navigating all six steps without experiencing any significant problems.
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The six-week-long polling period is finally coming to a conclusion. It is widely accepted that the summer heat was unsuitable for hosting the “greatest democratic festival.”

Political workers and voters faced intense heat and dehydration as temperatures exceeded 45 degrees in certain areas of the country. The Election Commission deserves kudos for providing healthful cold drinks from the State-owned Mother Dairy to thousands of poll workers, in addition to food. In the national capital, the EC had intelligently arranged for battery-powered rickshaws in residential complexes to transport elderly voters home for free. Small actions add humanity to state organisations. A positive relationship between the state and citizens enhances the democratic system’s purpose and significance. Unfortunately, political parties in the poll took a hostile stance towards each other and the EC itself. The Opposition’s operations against the European Commission were motivated by suspicion and distrust. The Supreme Court was frequently called upon to intervene against the poll body, often based on false allegations.

The Association for Democratic Reforms facilitated professional agitators who used PILs for personal gain. Last Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the request for the EC to provide booth-by-booth polling results. The next step may be to conduct polling by mohalla and gali. PILs have historically promoted necessary reforms, but they are currently often exploited for self-promotion and ulterior motives, such as corporate rivalry and vendettas. The political elite must treat the EC with respect and attention to promote democracy. Undermining the referee’s authority for partisan benefit would harm the system we should be proud of. Conducting a poll with over 950 million voters across the country is a significant organisational issue. Overall, the drill was incident-free, which is to its credit.

This kind of massively organised polling is not required of any other democratic nation in the globe on a regular basis. Given the scope of the election, the primary reason for a six-week poll was likely its size. We therefore applaud the EC for smoothly navigating all six steps without experiencing any significant problems. The final count and announcement of the winners and losers on June 4 will be the occasion for which we will save the third cheer.

Throughout the campaign, the competing political parties were anything but a model of moderation and sobriety. The opposition not only mishandled the EC, casting doubt on its impartiality, but they also levelled a number of baseless accusations against the prime minister and his party. The campaign’s mainstays were name-calling and tit-for-tat insults. In contrast to previous elections, parties focused more on using social media and WhatsApp groups to spread their message than on making door-to-door contacts. You Tube influencers were crucial in the information age for competing parties’ outreach to voters. The widespread use of smartphones and televisions has accelerated digital monetisation.

The poll revealed the existence of money power, which was evident prior to T N Seshan taking over as Chief Election Commissioner. However, it was suppressed by the EC’s strict oversight. The “satta bazaar” was also mentioned in rumours concerning the poll. Similar to stock markets, the Satta Bazaar saw ups and downs, with the most recent estimate coming after the BJP won six rounds and secured a comfortable majority. As per force, we will need to wait until June 4 for official confirmation. Tens of millions of voters can cheerfully engage in gossip, the country’s favourite past time, till then.

ABHISHEK VERMA


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