The CPM on Monday questioned the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to allow those aged 65 years and above to opt for postal ballot in elections, saying the move was disturbing since the poll body bypassed the established practice of consultation with political parties.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Law Ministry, in response to a request from the EC, had earlier amended the Conduct of the Election Rules to allow people with disabilities and those 80 years of age or above to opt for postal ballot. And now, the Law Ministry has notified fresh change to allow those aged 65 years and above the option of postal ballots in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Contrary to past practice, the current changes in the Rules, both in October, 2019 and that on June 19, 2020 have not been preceded by any consultation with the political parties whatsoever. From the media reports we are constrained to infer that the tearing hurry that the ECI displays is on account of the impending Bihar Assembly elections scheduled to be held in November, 2020,” Yechury wrote.
He said, “A consensus among political parties and ECI is necessary for introducing new voting practices which will adversely effect the verifiability of a large number of voters, thus, transparency and integrity of the process…”
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