October 23, 2022

CITU Denounces Coercive MoU between EC & Corporates

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on October 18, has strongly denounced the coercive memorandum of understanding (MoU) entered into between the Election Commission and thousands of employers(corporate houses)/industries in poll-bound Gujarat. The MoU assigns/empowers the employers to monitor the electoral participation of their workforce and publish the names of those workers who did not vote, on their website/notice boards.

It is amply clear that such an MoU is meant to identify, name and shame the workers who do not cast their votes, which tantamounts to coercion and victimisation to which the Election Commission or the employers are not entitled to. After all, voting is a right of every citizen in a democracy, and exercise of that right cannot be made a compulsion. Similar move on an earlier occasion was stayed by the judiciary itself in Gujarat.

This is a clear reflection of the Election Commission’s over-reach going much beyond their mandate, as has already been seen from its moves of interfering with the rights of the political parties in the matter of poll-promises. Further it gives the employers class another handle not only to coerce and harass the working people, but it may also open the avenue to provoke unduly pressure, manipulation or influence on the voters by the employers, obviously in favour of the ruling dispensation.

While condemning such a move, particularly targeting the workers, CITU demands upon the Election Commission to refrain from such “over-reach” exercise. CITU calls upon the workers and democratic forces to rise in protest against such unconstitutional and authoritarian moves.