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Election Commissioner’s resignation is under question!

Niraj Krishna

In the realm of democratic governance, the integrity and impartiality of electoral processes stand as pillars ensuring fair representation and the will of the people. Central to this principle is the role of Election Commissioners, tasked with upholding the sanctity of elections. However, recent events have cast a shadow over this crucial institution, as the resignation of an Election Commissioner comes under intense scrutiny and raises questions about the transparency of the electoral process.

The resignation of an Election Commissioner is not an everyday occurrence. Therefore, when news of such an event breaks, it naturally triggers a wave of speculation and inquiry. In the case at hand, the circumstances surrounding the resignation have sparked
controversy and scepticism, with many questioning the timing and motivations behind the Commissioner’s departure. One of the primary concerns raised by observers is the timing of the resignation. Elections are a pivotal moment in any democracy, and the absence of a key electoral overseer just ahead of significant polls can sow seeds of doubt regarding the integrity of the process.

Critics argue that resigning so close to an election could disrupt the electoral machinery and undermine public confidence in the fairness of the proceedings. Before the declaration of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 schedule, Arun Goel, the Election The Commissioner of India tendered his resignation, which was subsequently approved by the President of India. Arun Goel was positioned to succeed as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), with the current CEC, Rajiv Kumar. While the reason behind Goel’s resignation is not yet known, some media reports claimed that there were “differences on various issues”. Meanwhile, some reports said that he resigned owing to “personal reasons”. Notably, Goel’s tenure was till December 5, 2027.

Arun Goel, the second-highest official in the Election Commission of India, resigned in November 2022. His appointment was questioned in the Supreme Court, and some media reports have indicated that there were “differences on various issues”. In a letter, Goel cited
“personal reasons” for his resignation, while also claiming that his appointment is arbitrary and violative of institutional integrity and independence of the Election Commission.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, has also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Supreme Court challenging Goel’ appointment, claiming that due procedure had not been followed. The Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed that an independent Election Commission of India is part of the basic structure of the Constitution, and it is a gift to the nation. The Carter Center says that the administration of the election has been fair and impartial between all the political parties taking part. The Mint says that the idea is widely welcomed, for a panel on which the Judiciary holds the balance of power would keep the process above political affiliations.

The recent resignation of an Election Commissioner has sent shockwaves through thepolitical landscape, raising questions about the impartiality and integrity of the Election Commission. As a cornerstone of democracy, the Election Commission plays a crucial role in ensuring free and fair elections. However, the resignation has cast a shadow over its credibility, leaving many citizens and stakeholders concerned about the future of electoral processes. The resignation comes at a critical time when trust in electoral institutions is already fragile.

Elections are the foundation of democracy, providing citizens with the opportunity to participate in governance and hold their leaders accountable. Central to the democratic process is the belief that elections are conducted fairly and without bias. Any indication of partiality or interference undermines this fundamental principle and erodes public confidence in the electoral system. The departure of an Election Commissioner is not an ordinary event and raises serious questions about the reasons behind such a decision. While officials may resign for personal or professional reasons, in this case, the circumstances surrounding the resignation have fueled speculation and mistrust. Allegations of political pressure, interference, or misconduct could further undermine the public’s faith in the Election Commission’s ability to perform its duties impartially.

The impartiality of the Election Commission is essential for ensuring that all political parties and candidates have an equal opportunity to compete in elections. Any perception of bias can lead to accusations of favouritism, manipulation, or electoral fraud, jeopardizing the legitimacy of election outcomes. In a democratic society, every citizen must have confidence that their vote counts and that the electoral process is transparent and fair. Moreover, the resignation of an Election Commissioner can disrupt the functioning of the Election Commission and create uncertainty regarding its leadership and decision-making processes. A sudden vacancy in such a critical position requires swift action to ensure continuity and stability within the institution. Failure to address these concerns promptly could further undermine public trust and confidence in the electoral process.

To restore faith in the Election Commission, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to the resignation and demonstrated a commitment to transparency, accountability, and impartiality. This may involve conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances
surrounding the resignation, ensuring that electoral processes are free from political interference, and implementing reforms to strengthen the independence and integrity of the Election Commission. Furthermore, political leaders and stakeholders must refrain from exploiting the situation for partisan gain and instead work towards safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. The credibility of the Election Commission is essential for the stability and legitimacy of democracy and all efforts must be made to uphold its impartiality and independence.

In conclusion, the resignation of the Election Commissioner has raised serious concerns about the impartiality of the Election Commission and the integrity of electoral processes. Steps must be taken to address these concerns, restore public trust, and reaffirm the commitment to free and fair elections. Upholding the principles of democracy requires a robust and impartial electoral system that ensures the voice of the people is heard and respected. The resignation of an Election Commissioner can reverberate through the political landscape, sending ripples of uncertainty and speculation. The Election Commission of India is the cornerstone of the world’s largest democracy, entrusted with the vital responsibility of conducting free and fair elections. Any disruption within its ranks inevitably raises questions about the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. With the Lok Sabha elections looming on the horizon, the resignation of an Election Commissioner assumes even greater significance, potentially shaping the course and outcome of the electoral contest.

The recent resignation of an Election Commissioner has stirred a flurry of debates and discussions across political circles. While the reasons behind the resignation may vary, ranging from personal to professional, its timing cannot be overlooked. With the Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, every decision and development within the Election Commission assumes heightened importance. One of the immediate impacts of the resignation is the potential delay or disruption in the election process. The Election Commission operates on a principle of collegiality, with decisions being made collectively by the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners. The sudden departure of a Commissioner can disrupt this balance, leading to delays in crucial decision-making processes related to election schedules, polling arrangements, and implementation of electoral reforms.

Furthermore, the resignation may also raise concerns about the credibility and impartiality of the Election Commission. In a democracy, the faith of the electorate in the electoral process is paramount. Any perception of bias or lack of independence within the Election Commission can undermine public trust and confidence in the electoral outcomes. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the remaining members of the Commission to reassure the public of their commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral process. The political fallout of the resignation cannot be underestimated either. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, political parties are constantly jockeying for advantage, seeking to gain electoral mileage through strategic manoeuvres. The resignation of an Election Commissioner can provide fodder for political mudslinging, with opposition parties alleging foul play and demanding transparency in the appointment of a replacement. The ruling party, on the other hand, may seek to downplay the significance of the resignation and emphasize the continuity
and stability of the electoral process.

Moreover, the resignation may also impact the dynamics of election campaigning. Political parties often rely on the perceived impartiality of the Election Commission to adjudicate disputes and ensure a level playing field during elections. The absence of a full complement of Commissioners may lead to concerns about the Commission’s ability to effectively address complaints of electoral malpractice and enforce the model code of conduct. In conclusion, the resignation of an Election Commissioner has far-reaching implications for the conduct and outcome of the Lok Sabha elections. It underscores the importance of maintaining the independence and integrity of the Election Commission, as well as the need for transparency and accountability in the electoral process. As the country gears up for one of the largest democratic exercises in the world, the onus is on all stakeholders to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process and ensure that the voice of the electorate is heard loud and clear.

Ultimately, the controversy surrounding the resignation of an Election Commissioner underscores the fragility of democratic processes and the importance of safeguarding their integrity. Upholding the principles of transparency, accountability, and independence is essential to preserving the credibility of elections and maintaining public trust in the democratic system. As such, it is incumbent upon all stakeholders – from government officials to civil society organizations to ordinary citizens – to ensure that electoral processes remain free from undue influence and manipulation.

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