Thursday, May 8, 2014


How can the Election Commission be changed?

ECI should be seen to be fair.  If there is dereliction of duty, ECs of ECI can be impeached by Parliament. 

Who is responsible for the disenfranchisement of lakhs of voters by goofed up electoral rolls? Don't the ECs and CEC of ECI en banc have a moral responsibility?

The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his office by Parliament with two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the grounds of proven misbehaviour or incapacity. Other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner. The Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners draw salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India as per the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1992.[3] The current CEC is V.Sundaram Sampath.

Extracted from Lithographed edition of Constitution of India in Supreme Court Library:
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My silence more powerful than my words, roars Modi

Sandhya Jain8 May 2014
Sandhya Jain is a political analyst and independent researcher. She is the author of ‘Adi Deo Arya Devata- A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface’ (Rupa & Co., 2004) and ‘Evangelical Intrusions. Tripura: A Case Study’ (Rupa & Co., 2009).
My silence more powerful than my words, roars Modi
Thundering against the Election Commission, the father-son regime in Uttar Pradesh, and the mother-son rule in the National Capital for denial of permission to him to address a rally in Varanasi city on Thursday, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial contender charged that this was the handiwork of those who have lost the election and abandoned the contest, but still cannot tolerate him. “They don’t like my face or my voice,” he noted grimly, adding doggedly, “Will the world drown if Modi does not speak? My silence, my maun, is more powerful”.
Railing against the unkind cut of refusing permission for Ganga aarti as the Dasashwamedh Ghat (which was later granted, but by then the BJP had changed its programme for the day, Narendra Modi told an impressive crowd at Rohania, a rural segment of Varanasi constituency, that he would certainly return to have darshan of the Mother Ganga. Asserting that May 8 had been fixed by the BJP for campaigning in Varanasi a long time ago, Narendra Modi said that those fearing his rise manipulated, “Aisa chakkar chalaya, aisi match-fixing ki,” to ensure that the Election Commission denied him permission to hold a rally in Kashi. The reason given, he taunted, was so absurd that it is simply indigestible, viz his security.
Tearing through this excuse, he asked the highly responsive gathering, “How far is Kashi from here (Rohania)? 12 kms? If there is no danger here, then what is the danger there? Who are they fooling?” Pointing out that he has been on the campaign trail for over seven months, during which time he has been to Maoist-infested areas, terrorist-infested areas, Jammu & Kashmir, bomb-struck areas, and still survived, he queried, “Is there a problem only in Kashi?” Tormenting his rivals pitilessly, he asked, “The baap-beta sarkar, the maa-beta sarkar, cannot protect one person? I am ready to die, so why are you so worried?”
Pressing his point unrelentingly, the BJP veteran said that just ten days ago, the Union Home Minister SK Shinde told the media in reply to a question that he (Modi) faces no threat as he has been fully secured by the Government of India. Then, four days ago, the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that Modi has conducted over 400 rallies and is completely safe. “Now suddenly there is a threat yesterday to stop me”, (from addressing a rally) he said, lambasting the assault on his democratic rights. This partisanship, he pointed out, denied him a level playing field with other candidates in the election. The people, he asserted, would never forgive this. The shehenshah in Delhi should know, he warned, that despite all tricks to jail him by using the CBI, the Congress has been rounded defeated in the election and the Election Commission cannot make it win. He added that he did not know under whose pressure the Election Commission was working.
Pointing out that it was not his habit to speak about himself, Narendra Modi said that people, especially the media, used to complain that they knew nothing about him. When lots of stories and abuses began to pile up, he revealed that he used to sell tea in the railways. At this, he regaled his enrapt audience, the Congress sent at least 50 persons to his village to check the veracity of the story! Then they got after his caste origins. Pointing out that he always conducted his politics on the basis of “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat” and“Sabka saath sabka vikas“, Narendra Modi said he never used his jati for politics, but his rivals would not stop their allegations.
Thus thoroughly demolishing his political rivals, Narendra Modi told the gathering that they had seen a short clipping on the development of the Sabarmati, and that the same can be done for the Ganga also. The divine river, he said, is the source of the faith (aastha) of 125 crore people, and cannot be allowed to be dirty. Late Bismillah Khan had said that he could not leave the Ganga and go (to live) anywhere else, so powerful is its appeal. Claiming an old relationship (previous birth) that had reunited him with this land, the BJP veteran said that his mission, his sole agenda for the region is development because the eastern parts of the nation, be it the Northeast, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, or western Uttar Pradesh is lagging behind the western regions and this lopsidedness is hurting the nation as a whole.
Kashi, he reminded the people, was the teacher of the nation (rashtra guru) in the era when India was guru to the world (vishwa guru), and this intellectual prestige must be recovered, as envisaged by Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya. Families of Benaras weavers who went and settled in Surat years ago had made the district famous for its silk sarees and handlooms, and there is even today a Benaras Mohalla in Surat. Now, it is the turn of Benaras to have a new life infused in its veins, by reviving the glory of the weaving industry.
Pointing to his success in reinventing the humble kite industry of Gujarat into a roaring Rupees 700 crore business from a mere Rupees 35 crore industry, he said this mainly benefitted the poor Muslim families engaged in the profession. One could do much more with the sari industry, Narendra Modi said, and promised to upgrade it in just one year of coming to power. As tourism is the fastest growing sector in the economy the world over, he said that India should strive to put Kashi, Sarnath and the Ganga on the map of the world and also make every Indian yearn to visit the land of Tulsidas, Kabir, Rahim and Bismillah Khan. Just as people go to see the birthplace of Shakespeare, India should invite the world to Kashi; this would benefit every sector of the economy, from flower sellers to pujaris, and of course tea sellers, he said, to loud cheers from the audience.
The Gujarat desert was a wilderness where no one wanted to go, he said, but by cleverly marketing the region through Amitabh Bachchan, it emerged as a tourist destination and the local people began to benefit from the sale of their handicrafts. The potential for Kashi is so much higher, he said, “This is a pure land; we can do it”. Lamenting the indifference of the regime at the Centre to the beheading of jawans by Pakistan, the corruption in the housing scheme meant for Kargil widows, or two lakh farmer suicides, Narendra Modi promised that the BJP manifesto’s promise of a formula for fixing the minimum support price for all farm produce would bring relief and prosperity to farmers.

Narendra Modi addressing a massive rally in Rohaniya, Uttar Pradesh

Seeking the blessings of the centenarian Col Nizamuddin of the Azad Hind Fauj who travelled 50 kms to attend the rally, the BJP veteran said that just as Netaji Subhas Bose asked the people to give him blood in exchange for freedom, he too pledged to give a strong India (mazboot Hindustan) in return for a stable Government (mazboot sarkar), and urged the people to return the BJP and its allies from all 80 seats in the State. He made a special appeal for Apna Dal candidate Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur), daughter of Apna Dal founder late Sone Lal Patel, a mainly Kurmi party that is critical to the BJP success in nearly three dozen seats.

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