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  Opinion   Edit  26 Jan 2019  CEC says EVMs to continue

CEC says EVMs to continue

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 26, 2019, 2:02 am IST
Updated : Jan 26, 2019, 2:02 am IST

The Chief Election Commissioner is a constitutional authority charged with conducting credible elections.

Sunil Arora
 Sunil Arora

The Chief Election Commissioner is a constitutional authority charged with conducting credible elections. Given the sensitive nature of his position, it is to be expected that the CEC will not speak in a peremptory manner but will aim to assuage concerns of political parties and individual citizens, for that matter even international observers, with the sense of responsibility befitting his position.

Alas, CEC Sunil Arora’s recent remarks appear to be from the copybook of a callous bureaucrat rather than from an enlightened keeper of the sanctity of Indian elections.

On Thursday, speaking at an international conference in New Delhi on the subject of making our elections inclusive and accessible, Mr Arora said that the EC would not be “intimated or bullied” into giving up electronic voting machines and returning to the era of paper ballots and ballot boxes, and added that the opposition to EVMs was “motivated”. The latter is especially regrettable.

Instead of making indecorous observations, the CEC should let the country know who is trying to bully or intimidate him personally or the EC. If his statement is in accord with recorded facts, it will be the duty of the EC to proceed against such entities as per the law. If not, Mr Arora must hold his horses.

In recent years, many top-flight politicians, commencing with the BJP’s L.K. Advani, have questioned the EVM machines on grounds of fairness, though leading experts have sought to reassure us that these are all right. Perhaps they are right. But much anecdotal evidence seems stacked against their view. In these circumstances, the EC ought to persuade rather than hector.

Tags: sunil arora, chief election commissioner