Over its first five phases, not only have modern malpractices (like overspending, disinformation and hate speeches) continued, the country has also lost past gains in electoral conduct. Once more, rival candidates have been forced to step down; booths have been captured; and voters have been intimidated. That is not all. The country is also seeing fresh malpractices (like arresting chief ministers before elections; rebel factions bagging party symbols; and candidates being declared unopposed winners well before voting). https://thewire.in/politics/decoding-22-reasons-for-the-shrinking-credibility-of-the-electoral-process 

A field guide to a pivotal election

Crackdowns on opposition

1. CM arrested before polls
2. Election symbols given to rebel factions
3. Party accounts frozen before polls
4. Rival candidates forced to drop out

Vote suppression

5. Missing names from voter rolls
6. Slow voting despite heat
7. Lower deployment of EVMs despite heat
8. Voters not allowed to vote
9. Voter intimidation

Vote manipulation

10. Some party workers casting multiple votes
11. Polling agents telling people whom to vote for
12. Others casting vote on voters’ behalf
13. Voter slips with Modi photos
14. Random organisations releasing exit poll data
15. Faulty EVMs
16. Mismanagement in postal votes
17. EVM strongroom CCTV failure
18. Not sharing voter turnout numbers; Unexplained spikes in voter numbers

Model code violations

19. Hate speeches
20. Overspending
21. Use of public funds for party campaigning
22. Campaigning even on the day of voting.

by M. Rajshekhar

24/05/2024