Tiruchirapalli

‘People should remain vigilant in democracy'

Former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami speaking at a consultative meeing in Tiruchi on Sunday. Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam   | Photo Credit: R_M_RAJARATHINAM

People have a great role in protecting the democratic setup in our country and they must remain vigilant as this would go a long way in checking electoral violations and ensuring fair polls, the former Chief Election Commissioner N.Gopalaswami said on Sunday.

People must realise the power bestowed on them in a democracy, he said while speaking at a consultative meeting with social activists organised by the Forum for Electoral Integrity here. Unlike some of our neighbouring countries, democracy survived in India as the people of this country have preferred this political system for over 60 years now.

It is people with whom the power rests in a democracy, he emphasised adding that the country had been witness to change in governments only because the electorate opted for a change. Social organisations and activists must play a key role in consistently driving home the message to the people, that in democracy, they had the power to usher in change, Mr.Gopalaswami said.

The electorate must ascertain that their names figured in the electoral list, he said while pointing out that the voting percentage in urban areas is less compared to the rural areas.

Social activists could help the electorate in ensuring that their names figured in the electoral list. Replying to a query on candidates with criminal background contesting elections, Mr.Gopalaswami said a proposal to bar those involved in heinous crimes from contesting was yet to be implemented by the government.

Need for vigilance

Vigilance is required on the part of the people and this would go a long way in checking electoral violations, and ensuring fair polls, he said.

To a query on the doubts raised over Electronic Voting Machines, Mr.Gopalaswami said the machines could not be tampered and its software could not be changed since the EVMs were under the complete control of the Election Commission. Advocate and trustee of the Catalyst Trust N.L.Raja said until a few years ago political leaders spoke about public issues during elections which is no longer the case . Narayanan, editor of ‘Paadam,' a monthly magazine and A. Subramani, Director Operations, 5{+t}{+h} Pillar spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 7:38:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/lsquoPeople-should-remain-vigilant-in-democracy/article15687980.ece

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