Debate | Will EC’s Action Against Politicians Act as a Deterrent?

Does a ban on campaigning for 48 or 72 hours work as a deterrent for politicians who routinely cross the line?

2 min read

The Election Commission of India (EC) prodded by the Supreme Court, seems to have found its powers. In the last two days the election watchdog has banned four politicians from campaigning for speeches that violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

These politicians were using religion to garner votes. In one case there were sexist comments and in another open threats to voters saying – Vote for us or else.

The question is does a ban on campaigning for 48 or 72 hours work as a deterrent for politicians who routinely cross the line and what else can the EC do?

Speaking to BloombergQuint’s Tamanna Inamdar, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat said that the delay in taking an action was due to the time that was taken to ascertain facts and getting a report from the field.

“I think that getting the report from the field took time and that is why they couldn’t take action very promptly,” he said.

He further added that there have been instances like this in the past where politicians have been banned from campaigning.

Will the Ban Have an Imapct?

Rawat also said that the ban will certainly have an impact as the politicians only have 14 days to campaign and if they are banned in that period, then its a big loss.

Responding to a question of “threatening public to vote”, BJP Spokesperson Shweta Shalini said, “As far as appeal to vote is concerned, that is legal. And every single person needs to ensure that he appeals to every person around him to vote.”

She also responded a question on Maneka Gandhi’s statement and said that Gandhi has “apologised for it” adding that it was made “very casually”. However she added that EC’s action against the politicians is in all fairness.

“I appreciate the stand EC and SC have taken. We stand up by it, my party stands up it. And it is is in all fairness and I think it is a punishment which is worth it.”
BJP Spokesperson Shweta Shalini

Meanwhile, Pankhudi Pathak of the Congress slammed the BJP for violating the MCC and making a mockery of it.

She hit out at BJP party President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using the army to persuade the voters despite EC’s guidelines against it.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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