August 02, 2020

Modalities for Holding Bihar Elections

ON July 29, Nilotpal Basu, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), had written a letter to the Election Commission of India expressing CPI(M)’s views in response to their letter dated July 17, 2020 seeking opinions on the modalities to be followed for holding elections to Bihar assembly.

“Taking into account the conditions imposed by the pandemic and the safety requirements, according the highest priority to the safety of people’s lives, we want the Election Commission to ensure conditions that permit elections to be held on the basis of physical participation of the voters and the political parties.  We urge you to ensure that a free and fair election takes place based on the inviolable  premise of level playing field for all, as it is clear that exclusive virtual campaign driven activity is loaded in favour of parties which have unlimited financial resources at their command. Therefore, campaign and polling exclusively through the digital mode is not acceptable to us. 

“We would like that election campaign public meetings by ensuring physical distancing and other such safety requirements, are allowed.  Similarly, candidate and representatives of the candidates with a smaller group of campaigners are allowed to visit the homes of the voters subject to maintenance of health and safety requirements,” Basu said in the letter.

The letter underlined that the Indian Constitution mandates the Election Commission to ensure that the holding of elections should be in a manner which does not allow any unfair advantage for any party contestant.