The Election Commission, like many constitutional bodies today, "has lost its elan and is not the body it was envisaged to be by the Constitution", says former BJP leader, ex finance and foreign affairs minister, Yashwant Sinha.
In an op-ed article in NDTV on Tuesday, he recalls the many elections he had been part of and says this 2021 election is like no other election in the past.
Yashwant Sinha pinpoints the actions by the Election Commission to prevent eliciting votes in the name of religion and communities, and cites why actions permitted for Modi is not allowed for Mamata. Regarding the ban on Mamata Banerjee for 24 hours from election campaigning for reason of her seeking votes from minority communities, Sinha notes that her words were far less objectionable than those used by prime minister Modi and Amit Shah.
Sinha asks, " But what happens when the Prime Minister goes to the neighbouring country of Bangladesh in the midst of elections and visits a shrine and temple of a certain community, returns to India, and openly tells that community in West Bengal of his exploits in Bangladesh? Is he not openly and unabashedly asking for their votes on the basis of caste?"
Sinha also cites the recurrent use of the 'Jai Sri Ram' invocation which is a "purely religious slogan" freely used in election rallies by the BJP leaders to rouse the masses in order to garner their votes. Does it not amount to inciting religious sentiment?
When the Prime Minister and Home Minister accuse the TMC of encouraging minority communalism and asks the people to punish TMC for it, the two leaders are openly asking the majority to vote for it to the exclusion of minorities.
Sinha further cites the case of the road shows of the Home Minister and other BJP leaders, where people dressed as Hindu gods and goddesses.Is that not asking for votes in the name of a particular religion?, he asks, "Or is it that these people are too high and mighty for the Election Commission to even consider suitable action against them?"