Note-for-vote syndrome

Note-for-vote syndrome

This refers to Stray incidents mar peaceful poll The Hans India812 At last the much awaited polls ended peacefully without any major violent...

This refers to “Stray incidents mar peaceful poll”( The Hans India.8/12). At last the much awaited polls ended peacefully without any major violent incidents, booth capture and taking away EVM machines. The stray incidents are common due to local and personal issues of candidates of local areas. The Election Commission got bouquets and brickbats in this election. Bouquets for very peaceful polling without violence as it had well- coordinated with police from control rooms and deployment of more police personnel thus keeping the people from violence and disturbances.

On the other hand brickbats for many missing names in voters final list as many voters with voter ID card returned home without casting vote as their names were missing. Even though some voters got their name confirmed in the online list , their names missing in printed list at polling station which is most shocking to the voters. In fact the issue of missing names has been the culture in EC for a long time and unfortunately EC could not bring out fool proof method in this digital era with sophisticated technology. This is a big dent for EC as it could not give proper explanation but just expressed regret which is routine without any measures to rectify the faults to minimum.

Another issue is the cash distributed by candidates and parties to the voters. Of course it is a very sensitive issue as almost all candidates and parties including ruling party distributed cash all over state some well in advance and others just before pilling. But this chronic problem has to be tackled at various levels and EC , police alone cannot solve it nor control it unless political parties cooperate to ban cash and material distribution during elections. This is a wide subject and cannot be controlled overnight. It is shocking that even though central government put a cap on cash availability and punishment if more cash than the stipulated limit is transacted, hundreds of crores are transacted during elections. The union finance ministry has to answer!

Though EC is responsible for conducting polls peacefully, updating electoral rolls, with ethics, rules and regulations, unless citizens cooperate EC and state administration cannot conduct polls with text book pattern. It is seventy percent from EC and state and rest thirty percent from citizens in all aspects. Thus a team work of EC, state administration , political parties and citizens bring a healthy election. Media had given extensive coverage on exercising franchise, checking voters list and not to accept notes for votes but citizens just closed their eyes and ears and gone after notes for votes. Can we dream of healthy elections without cash and without missing names? - Jayaprakash Reddy, Nalgonda

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