02 October, 2020

I'll Hide, You Seek

After a brief spell of unanimity, the political class is now pitifully divided on poll reforms

I'll Hide, You Seek
Last year they were together. Almost the entire Indian political class had taken a unanimous stand opposing the EC's directive on electoral reforms. But it has taken less than a year for fissures to show up in this 'political consensus' on a crucial public issue.

In July 2002, an all-party meet endorsed the Union government's decision to issue an ordinance diluting an EC notification, which directed candidates to declare their assets and criminal background if they had one. Months later, two major political parties—the bjp and Congress—appear to be heading towards a showdown over the same issue, following the Supreme Court ruling last fortnight quashing the amended electoral law. The court has held that withholding of any information by the candidates at the time of filing nominations is not permissible.

The court's ruling has divided the political class. While the bjp has strong reservations about candidates revealing their criminal antecedents and financial assets, the Congress has welcomed the ruling. The upshot: when Parliament reconvenes on April 7 there could...


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