Election Commission undergoes 'agnipariksha' after every election: CEC Rajiv Kumar
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, Rajiv Kumar, on Sunday said despite all the work done by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the country, it still undergoes agnipariksha (trial by fire) after every election it conducts. Kumar said the ECI recently completed its 400th Assembly election—with the northeastern polls—and conducted 17 general elections and 16 presidential and vice-presidential polls so far.
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People trust elections results, still ECI gives 'agnipariksha': Kumar
CEC Kumar stated India has been resolving various issues amicably through dialogue because of "established democracy," which "is in stark comparison to what has been recently happening in many developed countries." "This was mainly because of established democracy which is possible only because people trust election results. Still, ECI gives agnipariskha every time after each election," he said, addressing a press conference in Bengaluru.
ECI conducted 400 assembly elections, 17 parliamentary polls: CEC Kumar
Responding to a question of whether people should trust the ECI for "free and fair elections" in Karnataka, Kumar said its election results have always been accepted with a smooth power transition after every election. He pointed out the ECI has held 400 Assembly elections—with the recent polls in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland—17 parliamentary elections and 16 presidential and vice-presidential polls without any issues.
ECI on Karnataka tour to access poll preparedness
A poll body team, including CEC Kumar, is currently on a visit to Karnataka to assess poll preparedness. On Saturday, Kumar also announced that senior citizens aged above 80 and persons with disabilities (PwDs) could vote from home in the upcoming elections. Noting that the current term of the Karnataka Assembly will end on May 24, he said elections would be completed before that.
Kumar made headlines after raising concerns about poll surveys, rankings
Earlier this month, Kumar hogged headlines after he expressed concerns over surveys and rankings of election management bodies and election authorities. Terming such surveys or rankings by several organizations as "flawed," he said these were doing more harm than good for democracy, calling for set parameters for such surveys. He added urban apathy toward elections and voting was a major challenge before the commission.