Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ex-Election Commissioners meet the incumbents; the veterans say, there’s a need to control hate speeches during campaigns

NINE former Election Commissioners on Monday suggested that there was an urgent need to control hate speeches in larger public interest. In a roundtable held in New Delhi and participated by present Election Commissioners and the veterans — the former ECs, MS Gill, JM Lyngdoh, TS.Krishna Murthy, BB Tandon, Dr SY Quraishi, VS Sampath, HR Bramha, Dr Nasim Zaidi and GVG Krishnamurty — it was deliberated on how hate speeches during the campaigns often…
vitiate the political atmosphere. All those former Election Commissioners are also former IAS officers.
It was also noted during the discussion that the universal use of EVM/VVPAT is a commendable initiative and the awareness programmes should be extended to educate all the voters about its benefits, according to a statement issued by the Election Commission of India.
According to media reports, former EC veterans asked the present incumbents to increase the number of polling stations where the EVM results are matched with the paper trails. 
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, and Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa took the initiative of holding such a roundtable. 
The meeting is significant as the Election Commission of India of late has faced criticism, particularly on two occasions — its decision to delay the enforcement of the model code of conduct in Gujarat and the disqualification of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in the office of profit case which the court later rescinded.
It was also deliberated to analyse the duration of polls so that the number of phases is reduced. The lesser number of phases will reduce the period of model code of conduct it was noted, which has its implications in multiple phases of elections, the EC statement said. 
Such consultations of ECs are expected to be a regular feature now.

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