It isn’t surprising to know that candidates belonging to different political parties were caught in a sting operation taking bribe from corporate houses in order to give them favours after they are voted to power. Surprisingly, after the incident came to light, the Election Commission demanded such instances of bribery to be declared as cognizable offences. It would have been much better had the Election Commission made such demands before the announcement of the poll schedule.  After the assembly elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the EC was well aware of how model code of conduct was flouted to achieve victory in the states. It is very unlikely that the Centre will pay any heed to the demands made by EC as they look least interested in cleaning the system. Other political parties also hold a similar view due to which electoral reforms have always been on a back seat. The Centre time and again have expressed the need for electoral reforms but unfortunately it is only limited to meetings and discussions. Though political parties speak of improving the electoral process, they are not ready for declaring violation of the model code of conduct as a cognizable offence. Since the model code of conduct is incapable of imposing effective restraint on the political parties, the instances of violation are on the rise. Political parties don’t hesitate in violating model code of conduct as they know that they will go scot free. The powers of the Election Commission are only limited to sending notices to candidates and political parties for violating the model code of conduct.

In most cases of violations, the EC is unable to take any effective step beyond criticizing the candidates and political parties. Probably, it is this reason that drove the Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid to take a dig at the EC for the notices sent to him. It is a puzzle that the EC is yet to come to a conclusion on Salman Khurshid’s promise of giving nine percent reservation to minorities, which was clearly a violation of the model code of conduct. The delay in taking decision on Salman Khurshid raises some uncomfortable questions for the EC. There is no doubt that the reforms are must but until it happens, the EC should take a strong stand on any violation of the model code of conduct. The EC needs to mount pressure on the government and create an environment where the government along with other political parties realises the need for political reforms.