On EVM and Electoral Reforms
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15 June 2019

While many technical experts have proved beyond doubt that EVMs can be hacked on a massive scale as a result of which many technologically developed countries are pursuing the ballot in election, the Election Commission of India at the behest of Modi regime is still keeping silent on this serious political issue even as its own website shows grave mismatch between “votes polled” and “votes counted”. Not only malfunctioning of EVMs but tens of thousands of them found in suspicious movements even as lakhs of them are missing is also aggravating the gravity of this question. Many of the former CECs have raised apprehensions on this issue. But, especially with any convincing explanations, the EC, rather than performing its duty as an autonomous constitutional body, stubbornly continues as an extension of the saffron regime. Today many concerned sections of the people firmly believe that manipulation of EVMs has been one factor that contributed to the massive electoral victory of the Modi regime. Until 2014, as the main opposition party, the BJP had been in the forefront in vociferously condemning the use of EVMs pointing out the possibility of fraud and tampering associated with it. It is only after its ascendance to power at the Centre that it has become its ardent champion.

Together with EVM, the 17th Indian General Election has come to be the most expensive one in recorded history with an outlay of around Rs. 60000 crores. Of this, only around Rs. 10000 crores belong to the so called official expenditure. More than 50 percent of the remaining amount which is mainly ‘black’ or unaccounted money was estimated to be associated with BJP alone. Almost 90 percent of the corporate black money routed through ‘electoral bonds’ went in to BJP’s coffers.

Apart from these, ‘the first pass the post system’ prevailing in India does not reflect the aspirations of the vast majority of the voters as, unlike in  many countries, a party getting less than even half of the votes can ascend to power. For example, in its first innings Modi regime could impose its corporate-saffron diktats over people with gaining just 31 percent of the votes polled, and presently even when it got 302 seats out of 542, it got only 37% votes. The role communal and caste factors are coupled with this. It is high time that the FPTP system should be changed to proportional representation system based on the actual votes planned.

In this context, as already stated in the Party’s Political Resolution adopted at the 11th Congress and restated in its Election Manifesto, the Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star calls for a thorough democratisation of the entire election process. The Party appeals to the people to resolutely come forward demanding a return to ballot, abolition of ‘first pass the post system’ with proportional representation, introduction of people’ right to recall the elected representatives, keeping out communal and casteist forces away from election and above all to put an end to the role of corporate funding and black money in elections. The Party Committees at all levels together with all like-minded forces should take up appropriate legal and political steps to achieve this aim.

KN Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI(ML) Red Star

13th June 2019

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Kabeer Katlat

Media

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.