WOULD BJP HAVE WON in Gujarat had polls been held, as they should have been, along with Himachal polls on 9 November and on perhaps 14 November for the second phase , instead of a month later?
Would Rahul have shone quite as much in Gujarat had polls been held there a month ago?
A day is a long time in politics.
A month can change fortunes several times over.
Yet we have taken this massive, unnatural manipulation of the ECI and its machinery by the ruling party at the centre so much into our stride that hardly any anchor or analyst even talks about it.
It suits the two big netas on both sides: each got a chance to show off.
For the Congress, projecting Rahul and justifying his coronation was as important if not more than actually winning the election.
Modi, too, had to show his paymasters that his demagogy alone makes all the difference between victory and defeat for the BJP.
The choreography of violations of ECI rules and RP Act and Model Code, the theatrical one sided FIRs , the high profile , high powers protests and complaints and gheraos at the ECI headquarters in Delhi, the FIRs on Channels in Gujarat but not on Rahul or Modi, the timing of the ECI notice to Rahul and then its strange withdrawal without even getting an answer from Rahul- could you even have imagined such shenanigans during T N Seshan's regime?
We've come a long way since then.
The frogs are getting used to higher and higher temperatures of the water in the crucible in which they are to be boiled to death.
ECI and EVMs just the instruments?
Even Mevani and Rupani won
But Gujarat lost
Institutions were destroyed
Secularism was destroyed
ECI and Model Code became objects of ridicule
Mandirs were used
Janeyuus were used
Seaplanes were used
Submarines were used
Pakistan was used
Caste was used
Development was forgotten
Long term interests of Gujarat and the nation were compromised
Let us not forget the first massive manipulation of the ECI by the ruling party at the Centre who for no good or convincing reason got the ECI to keep the election date announcement on hold till they found it convenient to get the polling schedule of Gujarat announced- long after the counting and result dates had been announced.
From this aberration sprang multitudes of aberrations, and it sent the wrong signal to the local administration which plays an important role in elections , and has been known to help parties it thinks is coming into power. The opposition played along, and indulged in its own violations of law and the Model Code.
It suited Modi, it suited Rahul, it suited the BJP, though it may or may not have suited the Congress. It certainly did not suit the public interest, which lies in the strict upholding of the law of the land and in maintaining the sanctity of democratic institutions.
Loss of faith in ECI and the fairness of elections will lead to erosion of faith in democracy , and that will lead to utter chaos in our country which in any case faces a million mutinies against its fragile polity , precarious economy and churning society everyday.
Let us keep protesting against the manipulation of the ECI, let us keep asking for action against the violations of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People's Act , and the law of the land , which forbid appeal to caste and communal sentiments for obtaining votes, and do not allow defamation of candidates and parties or any citizen for such purposes.
Let us keep asking for an end to use of EVMs since they are hackable in countless ways, whether or not they are actually hacked in particular cases.
If we don't, the aberrations will grow till they become the norm and the democratic process will be totally derailed .
So whether political parties protest or not, citizens must protest , and keep protesting strongly at such hijackings of the political and electoral processes.
"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light "
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