No easy job for EC

The Election Commission of India is in the headlines today. They are facing both bouquets and brickbats. While the Opposition parties claim that they are acting partial, a section has come to their defence claiming that casting aspersions on their credibility is a danger for democracy.

A letter written by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in his capacity as the State Congress president, to all district party chiefs and candidates contesting in the Lok Sabha elections has become controversial, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming that the letter intends to threaten employees and officers of the State government.

In Tamilnadu, the main Opposition DMK has been alleging that the EC has been acting in a partisan manner. They said the EC has to clarify convincingly on a tahsildar gaining entry to collect documents near a strong room in Madurai and shifting of over 50 EVMs from Coimbatore to Theni.

Coming down heavily on the functioning of the EC, the leaders of the party said the autonomous body is acting on the whims and fancies of ruling party. A few activists say casting doubts on every act of EC is uncalled-for. This will make the younger generation lose faith in the EC. Fearing defeat in elections, the Opposition parties are spreading malice about its functions, they say. A few even question why the Congress was quiet when EVMs were used and it won elections in 2004 and 2009 and wonder why they want to go for paper ballot now. The EC for its part, should educate its officials on poll duty on how the work should be carried out and briefing them about their duties is a must.