GUWAHATI, April 28 - The Election Commission of India (ECI) should have taken firm steps to deter those using the name of the Indian Army to enhance their electoral prospects during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. But regrettably, the ECI has preferred to remain silent on the issue, rued voluntary organisation Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG).
Talking to The Assam Tribune, SGBG president Krishno Kanto Borooah and its chief advisor Dhiren Barua said, �It is very unfortunate that one political party has been using the name of the Indian Army to enhance its electoral prospects. The ECI should have taken firm steps to deter such practices. But, the EC, for reasons best known to it, has preferred to remain silent on the issue. This is despite the resentment expressed by 156 ex-Indian Army officers over the issue.�
The SGBG office-bearers also demanded an unequivocal clarification from political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, on whether India is still a secular country or not. Because, they said, all these political parties are taking recourse to communal approaches to win over voters on communal lines.
The office-bearers also resented the fact that the election process in the country has deteriorated to such a level that all political parties are mostly inclined to projecting particular leaders. They have blatantly turned a blind eye to issues concerning the welfare of the masses.
The office-bearers were also of the opinion that the ECI and the Supreme Court should ban re-nomination of such candidates who in their terms as Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) have failed to perform either in Parliament or Assemblies or in matters related to completion of development projects under their MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund schemes or MLA Local Area Development (MLAD) fund schemes. If required, the country�s Representation of the People Act should also be amended for the purpose, they said.
Moreover, they said, there should also be legal measures to compel the MPs and MLAs to visit all areas under their constituencies at least once in a year, hold darbars with the local people to know their problems and give accounts of the redressal measures.
The MPs and MLAs should also visit the sites where developmental activities are undertaken, so as to ensure the required quality of the developmental work, the SGBG office-bearers said.