Election Commissioner O P Rawat has sent out a strong message against the ‘creeping new normal of political morality’ in the country, according to Indian Express. He said that winning at all costs without exclusion of ethical considerations is the new normal in politics. Rawat has said poaching of legislators has been hailed as smart political management. “Strategic introduction of money for allurement, tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation etc. are all commended as resourcefulness,” he said while addressing ‘Consultation on Electoral and Political Reforms’ organised by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). Rawat’s comments came days after the Election Commission’s decision of rejecting votes cast by two rebel Congress MLAs in the politically crucial Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat became the focal point.
“The winner can commit no sin; a defector crossing over to the ruling camp stands cleansed of all the guilt as also possible criminality. It is this creeping ‘new normal’ of political morality that should be the target for exemplary action by all political parties, politicians, media, civil society organisations, constitutional authorities and all those having faith in democratic polity for better election, a better tomorrow,” he said.
Earlier, EC had sought more powers to initiate contempt proceedings against some political parties which take advantage of the freedom of expression and make wild allegations against it without any credible evidence, PTI reported on June 12. In a letter written in April, the Commission has urged the Law Ministry to amend the election laws so that it can use ‘Contempt of Court’ Act against such parties.
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal had questioned the impartiality of Rawat alongwith Election Commissioner A K Joti.