Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Friday said winning elections at any cost has become a priority of political leaders. Rawat at an ADR event, said democracy thrives when elections are free, fair and transparent. But, it seems cynical to a common man when it is observed that political leaders put effort to win elections at all costs by excluding ethical practice, he said.
The election commissioner said poaching of legislators is extolled as smart political management these days. He said political parties also use the strategic introduction of money for allurement and tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation.
“In this narrative, poaching of legislators is extolled as smart political management.strategic introduction of money for allurement, tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation, all commended as resourcefulness,” Rawat said.
Rawat’s scathing remark comes Barely ten days after the Election Commission invalidated the votes of two Congress MLAs who had switched sides in the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, the election commissioner stressed on the fact that a democracy could thrive only when elections were free, fair and transparent, Indian Express reported.
However, under the garb of resourcefulness, “strategic introduction of money for allurement and tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation” is being executed by political parties. At the same time, the frequent poaching of legislators is being labelled as “smart political management,” he added.
In present times, Rawat said, “it appears to a cynical common man that we have been scripting a narrative that places maximum premium on winning at all costs – to the exclusion of ethical considerations,” he added.
According to Financial Express, the Election Commission had earlier sought additional powers for the purpose of initiating contempt proceedings against political parties that were taking advantage of freedom of expression to make allegations against the EC without evidence.