Amidst the cacophony of giving Constitutional status to Lokpal, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi’s demand to amend the Constitution in order to give protection to all the Election Commissioners from any pressure while performing their duties may invite political backlash.  This issue, earlier too raised by the CEC, has long been pending with the government. According to Quraishi, the two Election Commissioners under pressure of the government can over-rule me and make me completely helpless. So, Quraishi is of the view that there should be automatic elevation of the senior-most Commissioner on the poll panel to the post of Chief Election Commissioner. It is difficult to say that the Centre would accept the logics of CEC, but it would be rationale if there is a provision for automatic elevation of commissioner to the CEC. It generates several questions that what made Quraishi give comment at the juncture when assembly elections have been declared in five states. What is the reason for the CEC to indicate that the government could break the tradition of promoting election commissioner to CEC?

When the Election Commission was made a multi-member body by the government in the wake of certain controversial decisions taken by the Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan, the message percolated into public domain that the government had watered down the powers of CEC. It is worth mentioning that the government had jettisoned the demand of the then Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy for removal of Navin Chawla as election commissioner.  Given the credibility and honour earned by the Election Commission in the last two decades, the government should pay its heed to the CEC’s cause of concerns. It is pertinent that the Centre should now come forward to bring out electoral reforms. It is a matter of great concern that the reform in electoral procedure, which is billed to be a fountain head of many political evils, has been hanging fire for the last two decades and even the CEC has expressed his displeasure in this regard. The people of the nation have also unanimously expressed that electoral reform is as important as forming Lokpal to root out corruption.