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  • Published
    1st Dec, 2023

Context:

The ECI must act independently as the arbiter of election code breaches.

Challenges in Enforcing the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

  • Well-Meaning but Difficult: Model Code of Conduct (MCC) faces challenges in enforcement, relying on party cooperation and Election Commission vigilance.
  • Intent vs. Reality: Some MCC clauses are declarations of intent, like ensuring the "purity of the election process."
  • Recent ECI Actions: Election Commission acts against various leaders, withdrawing permission for Telangana's Rythu Bandhu scheme, revealing a mixed record.

Concerns:

  • Selective Addressing: ECI takes action against certain leaders, but overlooks Congress complaints against Modi and Amit Shah.
  • Unaddressed Complaints: ECI's silence on Congress's complaint about the Enforcement Directorate's interference in Chhattisgarh elections.
  • Doubts on Fairness: Doubts arise on ECI's capacity for fair and objective actions, especially amid potential government moves to control appointments.

Threats to Electoral Independence:

  • Legislative Supremacy Concerns: Government's proposal to legislate executive supremacy in ECI appointments raises worries about impartiality.
  • Ruling Party Control: Proposed scheme could let the ruling party solely control the ECI composition, posing a threat to fair elections.
  • Impact on Democracy: Supremacy move raises concerns about maintaining the integrity of free and fair elections in India.
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