Friday, October 23, 2009

Kannur Election – Meddling in State Affairs

After the controversial governor decision in the Lavalin case, another contentious decision has been made against the LDF-ruled state government in Kerala – The Central Election Commission has asked to remove the Collector of Kannur following complaints of fraud and irregularities in the voters list.

What has personally troubled me even more than the decision to remove the present collector has been that the EC suggested two names in the panel to be forwarded to them for selecting the new collector. Now while it is true that IAS officers are in effect central government officers this is unabashed meddling in the affairs of the state. The action by EC raises way too many questions - How did the Election Commission come up with these two names? What are the criteria decided by the EC for an IAS officer to be ‘honest’? Is the EC monitoring the IAS officers inn the state? What right do they have for that? Did the Central Government interfere in this matter? Or rather, did the Chief Election Commissioner, who is notoriously famous for his pro-Congress sympathies, just obey the Congress high-command – and suggest the names that were recommended by the state congress leaders?

Moreover the EC has not made clear the reasons for asking to remove the Collector. If there are irregularities in the voters list how is it the collectors fault? Do any of us go to the collector to get our names in the electoral list? Was it because he slapped a case against a Congress MP and asked to take action against a Central minister for violating the poll code?

The action taken by the CEC is dubious, to say the very least. There is no doubt that outside political influence has played a significant part in this decision.

When did the EC cease being an independent body and turn into political puppet?

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