A day after the Uttar Pradesh government complied with the Election Commission’s deadline to cover all statues of Chief Minister Mayawati and her party’s election symbol, the elephant, the Bahujan Samaj Party has hit out at the poll panel saying the decision was one-sided and had hurt the sentiments of the downtrodden. In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, senior party leader Satish Chandra Mishra questioned the commission’s intention to conduct free and fair elections in the state, which will see voting over seven phases in February. He claimed that the decision was unjustified and was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
World’s biggest democracies, India and United States, have joined hands to help building up strong electoral institutions in emerging democracies, especially in middle-east and Africa. As part of the collaboration, the Election Commission’s newly started International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) and Washington DC based International Federation of Electoral Systems (IFES) will work together to strengthen election management capacity in the interested countries.
“We will be training officials from middle-east and African nations in conducting free and fair elections,” chief election commissioner SY Quraishi told HT, a day after US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Chennai described the commission as a “gold standard” institution. Reaction to her statement, the CEC said, “We feel the credibility and reputation of Election Commission has gone beyond our boundaries”.