While the decisive moment for the ruling dispensation at the centre is impending, more with a possibility of losing the seat of power, it is shocking that the Election Commission (EC) which is tasked to conduct elections in a free and fair manner has stepped in to provide a helping hand to the ruling party by its lenient and outright partisan approach in dealing with serious and totally unacceptable violations of model code of conduct by the prime minister and BJP president.
The model code of conduct has no meaning for the ruling party. With the EC openly protecting them, they continue to incite and polarize voters in the name of religion and national defence.
Months before the announcements of the general elections-2019, in fact, at the time of the assembly elections in some of the states last year, the behaviour of the EC had displayed that the high institution is losing its integrity and credibility.
The way, the conduct of the general election was spread over to seven phases and to almost two months, further exposed its partisan approach towards providing Modi and his party an opportunity to speak differently at different places and time and confuse the voters by their double-tongue and foul utterances.
The country had never earlier a prime minister as disgraced as Narendra Modi. He took the oath for the high office in the name of upholding the Constitution of the country. But it is he who has been deliberately denigrating the Constitution, its core values and the institutions and offices meant for upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
He and his government, his ministers and party leaders have been systematically attacking and undermining each and every constitutional body so as to turn them into subservient institutions serving narrow and anti-constitutional political and other interests of the ruling party. It is tragic that by and by most of the constitutional institutions have fallen in line and turned into “his master’s voice”.
From the very beginning of the election campaign, the prime minister and the BJP chief have indulged in raising issues with clear motive of polarizing voters on religious lines, attacking and insulting minorities in most vulgar fashion, inciting majority community against minority community, using armed forces and their actions for electoral benefits, claiming credit for the performance of the armed forces, and raising bogey of national security to instill fear in voters.
All the election speeches by the prime minister and the BJP chief and most of the BJP leaders, most notably the UP-chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, have been laced with communal venom and instigation. But the Election Commission refuses to take notice of such blatant violations of the Code of Conduct. The Commission has one set of rules for the ruling party and other for the parties in opposition.
The opposition parties have been making complaints about the violation of Code of conduct by the prime minister and other leaders of NDA.
While complaints against some of the leaders, especially the leaders of opposition parties, have been promptly dealt and action taken by the Election Commission, but it has been so lenient towards the wrongdoings of the prime minister and the BJP chief that it didn’t act at all.
Finally, when the matter was brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, and the Court chided the Commission for its inaction, then in a most shameless manner, it started giving clean chits to the prime minister. This behaviour of the Election Commission is so biased and slanted that one can declare from the house top that it has lost its credibility in total.
It was pathetic to find that the Election Commission told the Supreme Court on April 15 that “we are toothless, we are powerless, we issue notices, then advisory and on repeated violation, we file complaint”.
It was pitiable that the EC did not act on the complaints of violation of model code of conduct by the prime minister and the BJP president almost for a month, and when the court ordered it to act on the complaints before May 6, the EC issued clean chits.
How could they claim that the EC is toothless? Only a few years back, in 1999, this very EC had taken action against Bal Thackeray, and debarred him from contesting elections as well as from the right to vote for six years.
The action was taken on complaints of his inflammatory and communal speeches. If the Commission had power to debar Mayawati, Yogi Adityanath and Mohammad Azam Khan etc from campaigning for a certain period, what prevented it from debarring Modi and Amit Shah from campaigning?
In fact, the violations of model code of conduct by Modi and Shah have been so serious and so frequent that they deserved to be completely debarred from the campaigning. But the Commission had chosen to ignore complaints against them. It had chosen to provide a helping hand to the ruling dispensation.
It had decided to flout the fair and free conduct of elections expected from the constitutional body. So, here we are Modi and Amit Shah and even others in the ruling camp can violate all norms of decent behaviour, they can violate the model code of conduct, and they can do it with impunity.