Code of conduct has been brought into force in the background of elections; so all political parties have got busy in planning their canvassing strategy; whilst maintaining the Code of Conduct. There are restrictions on candidates on manner and amount of spending money for canvassing, but all parties also have enough knowledge on finding loopholes in the same. As elections approach, every party starts planning its strategies on canvassing as also sets up a separate wing to work on attracting big fishes from other parties to own party. This wing is expert in casting net for finding a leader from another party who is influential; who can make a positive effect on the ballot box and who is hurt by someone or something in that party or who can be made to shift his loyalty from one party to another if his pockets are filled. Besides this, celebrities from the film world or from other fields, who have their own aura, are also brought in the fray for canvassing. These celebrities also speak as if they were an indivisible part of that party. Billions are spent on these two things, but such things are not considered under the purview of maintaining Code of conduct. Both the mediums help parties in getting votes on a large scale. The Election Commission should impose restrictions on both these things during the ensuing elections.
Election season has arrived
As the General Elections for 2019 is quickly approaching, many voters are very eager to cast their vote and obtain a new voter id card by registering through ECI. Apart from the new voters, there are also several categories of voters related to inclusion, modification, deletion, and shifting of names under the existing electoral rolls. The same is now arranged through various forms as mandated by Election Commission including Form 6, Form 7, Form 8 and Form 8A.
Of late, though the facility to the voters related to modification and new user registration also exist through online mode, one is yet compelled to make a physical visit to the nearest voter id issuing center to obtain the final status. Sometimes the same has further led to voter’s frustration, as unwarranted frequent visits to the voter-id issuing office have defeated the very purpose of online service facility.
A voter should be ensured a hassle-free process either to register for the first time or modify the details in the existing rolls online, including the provision of obtaining fresh/modified voter id cards and thereby ensuring lesser physical visits to the voter-id issuing office. Hence the ECI further should now do away with archaic paper trail forms to register names or modify details in electoral rolls.
The ECI should instead extensively promote the use of the online facility, thereby reducing the frustrations of voters and help to save the paper, otherwise required to print the various forms. The online enrolment process for new registrations or corrections should be made as an on-going process, without the need for a voter to impatiently wait at the end of a five-year Assembly or Lok Sabha term.
Also as overseas voters still do not have a facility for online voting, the ECI can innovate a strategy to conduct EVM based polling in tandem with the offices of Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates and several UN offices across the world. The move will enable Indian overseas voters to cast their franchise, subject to verification of electoral rolls and voter id proofs.
Varun S D
Air India should enforce strict austerity measures
In the present era of austerity and national airliner already under heavy debt, Air India should curtail freebies to its Directors and staffers including free air-passes for family members.
Management and staff of public-sector Air India should get benefits according to rules of Union government and not at all in an arbitrary manner decided by its own board members who have a definite conflict of interest in such anti-public decisions for which they themselves are beneficiaries. The Union government should also study facilities including free air-tickets provided by private-sector national airliners for family members of their staffers. It may be pointed out that facilities and benefits provided to staffers of a national airliner can and must not be compared with those of international airliners where some countries are so rich that they have aeroplanes with fittings and accessories made of gold! Union Civil Aviation Ministry should swiftly act for ensuring real austerity in Air India.