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Election Commission of India (ECI) UPSC NOTE

 Significance of the ECI:

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a crucial institution for the democratic process.

  • It should not operate without sufficient oversight and support due to its importance.

Recent Directives by the ECI:

  • The ECI has instructed the BJP and Congress to avoid divisive issues in their election campaigns.

  • This directive is seen as a delayed but necessary action.

Past Performance of the ECI:

  • The ECI has recently been criticized for failing to be effective, impartial, and prompt.

  • These shortcomings have disappointed the Indian electorate.

Partisan Appointment of ECI Members:

  • The mechanism for appointing ECI members is a partisan decision made by the executive branch.

  • This has contributed to the ECI’s perceived ineffectiveness.

Specific Actions Against BJP:

  • The ECI wrote to BJP President J.P. Nadda, asking party "star campaigners" to avoid divisive statements.

  • This followed a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech in Banswara, Rajasthan, where he made controversial remarks about Muslims.

Specific Actions Against Congress:

  • The ECI also wrote to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, asking his party’s star campaigners to avoid statements that could cause caste and community tensions.

Recent Rebukes and Censures:

  • The ECI censured former Calcutta High Court judge and BJP candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for remarks against Mamata Banerjee, barring him from campaigning for 24 hours.

  • The ECI has previously acted against several leaders from different parties for similar issues.

Pending Complaints:

  • Complaints against U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for alleged violations of the model code of conduct (MCC) are pending.

Perceived Impartiality and Issues:

  • The ECI’s actions may appear impartial, but this is not sufficient.

  • There is a false equivalence being drawn between legitimate policy debates and incitements of xenophobia.

Role of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC):

  • The MCC should not be used to suppress political debates and disagreements.

  • It should address the misuse of power and creation of disharmony separately.

Need for Reinforcing ECI's Independence:

  • The integrity and credibility of the ECI are vital for the legitimacy of elections.

  • Reinforcing its independence should be a priority for political parties, the judiciary, and other stakeholders in Indian democracy.

Conclusion:

  • Given its crucial role, the ECI is too important to be left to operate without adequate oversight and support.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Election Commission of India (ECI) UPSC NOTE
Election Commission of India (ECI) UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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