Saturday, April 04, 2020

Prioritising Pandemic Over Politics

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 25, 2020 10:36 pm

The Election Commission (EC) was right in postponing the Rajya Sabha elections slated to be held on March 26. At a time when the entire world is combating corona virus, there should be no distractions. The government administration should solely focus on providing relief to the affected persons and make every attempt possible to prevent spreading of the virus. Clearly, it is not the time for elections, it is purely an administrative decision with no politics attached to it.

But Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot thinks differently. According to him the said election was deferred to allow BJP to indulge in horse trading especially in states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Rajasthan Chief Minister claimed that as BJP could not manage desired success, it put pressure on EC to take such a decision.

A person holding a responsible post should have not uttered such words. Such utterances at such a period is not only damaging for a constitutional body like the EC, but also encourages the tendency to attack all constitutional institutions at will. This is not a healthy sign for democracy. The Rajasthan Chief Minister was not alone in this way of thinking, several other leaders, holding important portfolios have also indulged in such practices. The trend of attacking constitutional bodies, when something goes against one’s will, should be stopped at once in-order to strengthen the country’s democratic set up.

It is not difficult to understand why Mr. Gelhot is fuming against EC. It is clear that after recent political developments in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where five Congress MLAs resigned just before the Rajya Sabha poll, the Rajasthan Chief Minister is apprehensive that disgruntled MLAs may cross over to the opposition at any time. Mr. Gelhot knows well that his deputy Sachin Pilot has been eyeing the Chief Minister’s chair ever since the party came to power. Mr. Pilot had a considerable following too, he was the Congress president in the state for five years and it was under Mr. Pilot’s leadership that Congress managed to regain power in Rajasthan. Many thought that after the victory Mr. Pilot would take over the reins of the state. But, at the eleventh hour, it was Priyanka Gandhi who brought a truce between the two warring sides in the part by offering the senior Chief Minister’s post and deputy’s post to the junior.

Following which, tussles between the two groups have been on going. It has made Congress relatively weak in the State, as tussle for power between the two senior  Congressmen bicker. Many party men and women are either planning to join other parties or are sitting idle. Ashok Gehlot fears that this section of party leaders may spoil his applecart. So, the Chief Minister is currently attempting face saving tactics. Mr. Gelhot and other Congress leaders should realise that they can be in power only by making the party stronger and united. If they continue to indulge in infighting, the future of the party is doomed. There is no point in blaming political opponents, no use in raising questions on why disgruntled MLAs are being camped in a BJP-ruled state. Moreover, it is highly irresponsible to blame a constitutional institute for political mileage. He, should not harm the country’s democratic set up for personal gains.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 25, 2020 10:36:55 pm