2019 General Elections appear to be the least free and fair, write civil servants, military veterans to ECI

Civil service officers, military veterans, renowned academics have written letter to ECI, questioning silence and inaction, that characterised ECI’s response to issues raised during LS election

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI

NH Web Desk

Around 145 retired civil service officers, military veterans and renowned academics have written a letter to Election Commission of India, questioning the “procrastination, silence and inaction” that characterised the ECI’s response to issues raised during the recent general election.

“The 2019 General Elections appear to have been one of the least free and fair elections that the country has had in the past three decades or so,” stated 64 former IAS, IFS, IPS and IRS officers in an open letter to the Election Commission

The open letter painstakingly lists almost every doubt that had been cast on the election process over the past few months.

The letter refers to media reports and accepts “that not every media report is accurate or true” but points out that “the ECI’s non-rebuttal of an untrue or inaccurate story leaves the public to draw its own conclusion: that the ECI has no valid explanation to offer”.

The letter says: “Viewed in totality, there is no doubt that the mandate of 2019 has been thrown into serious doubt. The concerns raised are too central to the well-being of our democracy for the ECI (Election Commission of India) to leave unexplained.

“In the interests of ensuring that this never happens again, the ECI needs to pro-actively issue public clarifications in respect of each of these reported irregularities, and put in place steps to prevent such incidents from occurring in future. This is essential to restore the people’s faith in our electoral process.”

Letter quotes an article by an academic to say “it is not our job as citizens to offer proof of wrong-doing of the highest institutions of the land, when these institutions function in so opaque a manner. It is our job to raise questions about visible anomalies. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to explain the anomalies”.

Here is the full text of the letter:

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Published: 03 Jul 2019, 10:35 AM