ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Thoughtless Forays

THE exit of T N Seshan, former chief election commissioner, has done little by way of ensuring a balance between the Election Commission and the political parties on its register. From being, by and large, a political instrument of the Congress Party the EC transformed itself under Seshan into an arbitrary body which, in pursuit of publicity, sought to enlarge its scope by dictating terms in excess of statutory stipulations, in the process inviting judicial and political restraint. Such restraints of the past appear not to have had any limiting effect on the expanded commission, if its recent guidelines and injunctions are any indication. It is indeed ironical that a commission that has consistently failed to evolve democratic norms of internal functioning, leading to comic spectacles of the kind that recently had to be resolved through the president's intervention, should feel justified in enforcing on parties the practice of its own feeble formulation of the principles of political democracy.

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