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No Ethics In The 'New Normal' Of Political Morality, Says Election Commissioner

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| August 18 , 2017 , 14:12 IST

Days after the high-stake polls in Gujarat's Rajya Sabha, where the Election Commission rejected the votes of 2 Congress MLAs who were allegedly poached by the BJP, the EC Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat has spoken out about the deteriorating conditions of Indian politics saying that poaching legislators and money allurement are the 'new normal' of political morality.

Delivering a key note speech at the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) organised ‘Consultation on Electoral and Political Reforms’ on Thursday, the commissioner said, "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 etc. are all commended as resourcefulness."

He said, “Democracy thrives when elections are free, fair and transparent. However, 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.”

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“The winner can commit no sin; a defector crossing over to the ruling camp stands cleansed of all the guilt as also possible criminality. It is this creeping ‘new normal’ of political morality that should be the target for exemplary action by all political parties, politicians, media, civil society organisations, constitutional authorities and all those having faith in democratic polity for better election, a better tomorrow,” he added.

EC Commissioner Rawat's stand comes as a significant move after the much talked Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, which came as a major struggle in the Indian politics. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had allegedly poached the Congress legislators after which the Congress high command had locked their leaders in a resort in Bengaluru to avoid losing any more legislators.

Rawat also spoke about the practice of paid news seeking laws against it and called for limitations on the expenditure of political parties during elections. He has been in office since August 2015.

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