Editorial: Congress must update Electoral Count Act to prevent another coup attempt
There is no doubt the electoral process used in the 2013 Parliamentary General Elections went in the right direction. The voters have spoken.
With the announcement of the final results on the 24th November, it is clear that the majority vote in key opposition bastions (Gorkha, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Tripura and Jharkhand) secured a landslide victory.
The overall figure of 57.11 per cent of the total population, including the elected representatives, has been ratified by a majority of the states, thereby providing the country with a healthy, stable and independent democracy at a time when the country is facing unprecedented challenges.
The Prime Minister’s announcement of the second list of 73 candidates for the election is a welcome development as it will be seen as an indicator of the political will to address the current challenges.
However it would be unfair to claim that everything has been done and that the electoral process has been implemented in the manner that the constitution of India demands. This electoral process does not conform to the provisions of the present electoral act for India and thus it has created an illusion that democracy is strong and invincible.
What has happened is that the electoral process was done away with Article 328 which was an amendment to the Election Act 1954, replacing it with the present one. The Electoral Act 2014, which was passed by the parliament in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on the 2014 Lok Sabha Election and the Presidential Election, has been passed with a great measure of caution after the Supreme Court had said that it is a constitutional anomaly.
Also, a change was made to the electoral act with a provision, which stipulates that no candidate to contest from a constituency can be from a particular party. This is contrary to India’s fundamental democratic ideals as a nation that has a fair electoral process.
It is quite clear that when a presidential election is held in a particular state, the electoral act stipulates that the votes of the