By scrapping booth-wise counting Modi Govt can end caste and identity politics

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Why scrapping booth-wise counting vital
The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for not taking decision in the last five years, on Election Commission's request to do away with counting of votes on a booth-wise basis and asked it to make its stand clear within four weeks.

As per the Apex Court bench, counting of votes on a booth-wise basis can result in post election vindictive approach of the winning candidates towards that particular booth if he didn't get votes from there.

There have been cases in the past, when the candidates were seen deliberately ignoring a particular section of their constituency simply because they received lesser per cent of votes from that locality. It happens only because the candidates through this exercise get to know about which cluster has supported them and which didn't. This leads to victimisation of the section of the society.

Such a practice is against the Constitution and the previous government should have taken a decision to abolish it.

Promotes caste and identity politics

Numerous cases have come to light recently from the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal where people complained of being victimised by goons encouraged by the ruling parties.

SC's drubbing once again shows UPA's attitude towards electoral reforms

The Election Commission shared such a crucial information with the political parties to help them get an insight of their work and where all they are lagging. Candidates access these data citing to speed up the development work in the areas where they enjoy least support. But, parties, out of political vendetta, generally end up neglecting the people living in such regions. Hence, such areas become vulnerable to exploitation.

The parties at the time of elections come out with manifestos targetting specific vote banks while neglect those whom they inticipate will not support them. This results in the parties playing caste and identity-based politics. UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, etc are some of the states where such practices play a pivotal role in a parties fortunes.

The petitioner has given reference of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's case where he allegedly threatened voters of Baramati village to cut off water supply if they did not cast their ballot in favour of his cousin and sitting NCP MP Supriya Sule on the eve of last polling in general election .

The case of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal, who openly threatened his opponents that he'll let his men loose on their women if they don't support his party, reflects the same. Even certain parts of UP and Bihar face the neglect just because people of that area supported their rivals.

UPA government's callous approach

The Supreme Court's drubbing once again highlights the insensitivity of the erstwhile UPA government which kept sitting on such a serious issue for five long years.

The Centre, in 2008, had referred the issue to Law Commission but it didn't take any decision itself till date even after Commission wrote letter to it on the issue.

"The Election Commission is an expert body and it knows its job well. What Law Commission would do on the issue? It is almost five years and 10 months since the Commission wrote to you.

"Law Commission has nothing to do in this issue. We must know what is your response," the bench said, adding, "You can't keep the matter pending by putting it on the shoulder of Law Commission".

This clearly shows how the UPA government never took such a crucial matter seriously.

An ideal opportunity for new Modi government

Supreme Court's response has given the new Narendra Modi government an ideal opportunity to send positive signal amongst people that it is firm on its stand of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' and all it wants is well being of the society. The NDA government, if brought an amendment, would put an end to such practices.

Hence, the uniform way of declaration of result for the entire constituency as a whole would bring balanced growth and balanced funding and it would also reduce cases fuelled by political vendetta, ill-will and hatred.

An amendment in the system would reduce intimidation and blackmail tactics of the political parties and further mount pressure on them to work for overall development of the state. The uniform way of declaration of result for the entire constituency as a whole would bring balanced growth and balanced funding and it would also reduce cases fueled by political vendetta, ill-will and hatred.

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