The Commission received a number of complaints about bogus elections being held in various parts of the country this year. It was also held responsible for keeping a large number of voters deprived of voting because of the absence of their names from the voter list. So, it can be said that the LS polls left quite a few challenges for the poll body.

The EC was quite successful in keeping its promise of providing safety and security during the nine-phase elections.  However, there were a lot of glitches in the electoral process. The Commission was caught in its own set rules and decisions.

The poll body had taken strict action against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by lodging an FIR against him for violating poll laws by displaying the Bharatiya Janata Party's election symbol 'lotus' and making a speech after casting his vote in Gandhinagar. However, it was silent on Rahul Gandhi’s presence inside EVM enclosure at Phoola polling station, Amethi. Rahul was later given three days to explain his side of the story.

Questions were also raised after Modi was denied permission by the EC to hold a rally in Varanasi. Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan too had challenged the poll body saying that it cannot behave like god and it should take actions that are best suited for a democratic setup. The commission had imposed a ban on Khan to prevent him from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh.

AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal had also attacked the poll body’s ostrich approach in context of taking action against erring media houses for showing Narendra Modi's video speech on the polling day, which is a violation of the model code of conduct.

The truth is that the EC could not take proper action in the cases that involved violation of model code of conduct during elections.

Although the Commission took a lot of steps to increase the voter percentage this year, it faced a lot of flak for irregularities that deprived voters of casting votes.  Similar complaints were lodged in Madhya Pradesh where reports of bogus voting also surfaced.

However, talking about the positive points, EC seized a lot of cash, liquor and drugs this election season. The commission seized a total amount of Rs 331 crore during elections out of which Rs 153 crore were seized in Andhra Pradesh itself.

(JPN/Bureau)

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