ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Holding the Election Commission Accountable

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India’s electoral democracy is a wonder of the modern world. The sheer breadth and scale of the exercise is only now being understood by scholars (Quraishi 2014; Shani 2018), and its continued, peaceful conduct would have befuddled commentators expecting the whole enterprise to collapse a few years into India’s independence. Much of this has been possible due to the competence and efficiency of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the smooth conduct of elections. This can also be attributed in part to the ECI being constitutionally designed to stay independent of the union and state governments in its functioning.

As admirable as the ECI’s work has been, constant vigilance is still necessary to sustain and strengthen electoral democracy. This means holding the ECI to account for its failures. This need has been thrown into sharp relief in the state assembly elections of 2018 which have seen two large-scale instances of worrying behaviour on the part of the ECI. Both these instances highlight the lack of proper mechanisms for citizens to hold the ECI accountable for its actions.

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Updated On : 25th Dec, 2018

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