EC following M(odi)CC

By Sushil Kutty. Dated: 5/10/2019 12:26:19 PM

PM'S speeches are model for poll body

On the Saturday just gone by, the Election Commission of India gave another clean-chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The sixth so far, say people who have been keeping track of Election Commission and Prime Ministerial behavioural patterns. The allegation and impression is that while Modi sticks to his guns (literally, by continuing to harp and harangue on national security and Pakistan), the Election Commission almost always takes a knife to the gunfight and in such an unequal fight, the victor is always the gunman! Even a military issue knife is no match against a Kalashnikov.
This particular clean-chit was about Modi's utterances at Patan in Gujarat where he held a rally on April 21 and got carried away to the extent where he knowingly or inadvertently in the flow of his rein-less speech appropriated for himself and the BJP the 'Abhinandan' for the quick release of Wing Commander Abhinandan 'Bison' Varthaman, the ace pilot with a moustache so widespread that it threatened to change facial hair fashion for all time to come.
The Prime Minister allegedly took a turn like Wing commander Abhinandan's moustache and said that the BJP government led by Modi (he speaks about himself in the third person at rallies) kept Pakistan and Pakistanis on their toes to beat them into submission and release the downed-in-POK fighter-jet pilot who proved that the 'man' is the one who is tested in adversity.
But while Wing Commander Varthaman came through in flying colours, Modi and the BJP wanted to paint all those colours saffron!
That being said, the EC clean-chit for Modi was unanimous with all the members of the panel surrendering to the view that even a Modi in full flow could not have taken a misstep, not after having given quarter clean-chits twice for flouting the Model Code of Conduct which countrywide was under a cloud because it sounded eerily like "Modi Code of Conduct."
Of course, that was all bunkum because the spineless Election Commission does have a cortex though there is right above this vital piece of human contraption an iota of space left to manouvere and play hanky-panky which, critics of the EC say, is a game the Election Commission is pretty good playing at. Earlier, facing similar allegations of violating the Model Code of Conduct during two speeches made by Modi at Wardha and Latur, the poll panel had given a split decision, meaning the Prime Minister had overstepped.
Meaning also that the spineless Election Commission had a spine, after all. The "dissent" within the Election Commission was seen as a healthy sign and noted as such by no less than Congress trendsetter P. Chidambaram - who has had his share of squabbles with the Election Commission - that all was not lost, that 'the Election Commission was finally showing some signs of life" and that India still had her platoon of backbones to fight the hegemony of the megalomaniac.
Does it seem like Chidambaram spoke too soon and, despite and in spite of his degree from Harvard, was degrees wrong? "Closer to May 6, 12 and 19, the Election Commission may actually reprimand Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah. That means the fear of Modi-Shah is finally weakening," he had said. Oh! The times they have a changed Mr. Chidambaram, and even the Election Commission keeps tabs on wind shifting on a daily and weekly basis and keeps its weathercock aligned to the prevailing wind. The EC is more a weather station than the monitor of the class in which Modi is also a student.
A split decision by the three-member Election Commission can only be 2:1, in favour or against. That Modi got away twice with split decisions means the decision was in his favour and we would never know which of the three poll panel members voted against - the same member or two different members? The high point of this dialogue is Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah always get the benefit of doubt and that spawns doubts the Election Commission could do without.
There is also this sneaking feeling that Mr. Yogi Adityanath and Ms. Maneka Gandhi spout outrageous far more viral than those which Mr. Modi delivers from his rally podium and Mr. Modi gets away because he's hardly in their outrageous class. Problem for Mr. Modi though is, he has no choice. Landed with only the 'national security' election plank, Mr. Modi cannot but walk the plank. Now that, in his latest breach, he has gone and spoken ill of somebody who has attained "mrityu", will the Election Commission show some "signs of life" as Mr. Chidambaram put it? The answer we know we will not have to search under the carpet.
—(IPA Service)



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