Home » Challenges to Electoral Integrity: Addressing violations and ensuring fairness in the 18th Lok Sabha Poll

Challenges to Electoral Integrity: Addressing violations and ensuring fairness in the 18th Lok Sabha Poll

by Editorial Team
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Challenges to Electoral Integrity: Addressing violations and ensuring fairness in the 18th Lok Sabha Poll

The bold announcement made by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take stringent action against the use of money power, muscle power, and misinformation, as well as to ensure the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in the upcoming 18th Lok Sabha poll, received a hard blow with the reported incident of suspected NSCN-IM cadres disrupting the election campaign of the Indian National Congress (INC) candidate at the Outer Manipur Assembly constituency.
This incident is significant not only because it undermines the ECI’s efforts to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process but also because it involves a group with alleged ties to insurgency and armed activities. The disruption of an election campaign by armed miscreants not only violates the MCC but also poses a threat to the safety and security of candidates, voters, and election officials.
Moreover, the open statement by the United Naga Council (UNC), a frontal organization of the NSCN-IM, urging the Naga community to support the Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate, raises concerns about the impartiality of the electoral process. Such open endorsements of specific political parties by affiliated groups could be seen as attempts to influence voters and manipulate the outcome of the election, thus violating the MCC.
Given the gravity of the situation, the ECI should take proactive measures to address these violations and uphold the integrity of the electoral process. Instead of waiting for a formal complaint, the ECI can initiate a suo moto case to investigate the incident and take appropriate action against the perpetrators.
The ECI should collaborate closely with local law enforcement agencies to enhance security in the affected area and prevent further disruptions to election-related activities. Additionally, the ECI should intensify its monitoring efforts to detect any future attempts to disrupt the election process by NSCN-IM, NPF, or any other entity.
Regarding the support extended by the UNC to the NPF candidate, the ECI should investigate whether this constitutes a violation of election laws or the MCC, particularly in terms of the use of muscle power and misinformation. If evidence of wrongdoing is found, the ECI should take legal action, which may include issuing warnings, imposing fines, or even blacklisting the political party supported by such groups.
Overall, it is imperative for the ECI to uphold the principles of free and fair elections and ensure that all parties and candidates adhere to the rules and regulations governing the electoral process. Any attempts to undermine the integrity of the electoral process must be met with swift and decisive action to maintain public trust and confidence in the democratic system.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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