Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Friday, May 9, 2014

Poor ECI...!

The returning officer of the Varanasi parliamentary constituency is probably the one Modi's rivals are despising more than Narendra Modi himself. The RO should have realised that he was about to commit a big mistake before denying permission to Modi for addressing public through a rally. He would have, by now. The wily prime ministerial aspirant has used this as a wonderful opportunity in his course to 7, Race Course Road, Panchavati, Delhi.

No body needs to grant him permission to walk down to his office in Varanasi. He did just that. Got off his helicopter and went down to his office. Just that his 10-20 minute drive took him 5 hours because of the crowd that gathered there. No speeches. No rule breaking. He only showed his disappointment in the Election Commission of India. His colleagues did the rest. Satyagraha and all. This probably got Narendra Modi more media coverage than if he was granted permission. This would definitely affect the far east regions of Uttar Pradesh and far west regions of Bihar which are going for polls on May 12. All thanks to the poor Election Commission of India.
But the thing is, Rahul Gandhi was granted permission for a rally on the last day of campaigning. So was Arvind Kejriwal. What denied the BJP leader from campaigning was the question that was raised. As Arun Jaitley said, "If ECI cannot provide security, do not conduct the polls. If polls are being conducted, let every one exercise their right to campaign." The election commissioner however is still backing his man. But this is a "democracy" and anyone can try their luck. He however, quotes security reasons.

In India, people who feature on the 'hit list' of terrorist or naxalite groups are given tight security. Of course, many others are also given, but not as tight security as these few enjoy (I mean not enjoy in the routine sense, what is there for people to enjoy being on the hit list!!) The President is guarded by a special regiment of the armed forces. Regarding the Prime Minister, after Indira Gandhi's assassination, a Special Protection Group (SPG) was formed to take care of only the Prime Minister of India. And Rajiv Gandhi's assassination proved the need for a strong protection for the PM. It is, now.
But, there are four more people who are protected by the SPG. Indian National Congress president, Sonia Gandhi and vice president, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka vadra and Robert Vadra. Point is, when the ECI granted permission for Rahul Gandhi who is under a threat as much as the Prime Minister to hold an election rally, why not to Narendra Modi, with a Z+ security which is technically lesser than the SPG??