Other States

RJD opposes move to extend postal ballot facility

File photo of RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha.

File photo of RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha.  

Joining forces with other Opposition parties, the Rashtriya Janta Dal wrote to the Election Commission (EC) on July 7, opposing the panel’s move to extend the facility of postal ballot to voters who are 65 years old or above.

CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury was the first to flag the issue. Congress, Trinamool Congress and Communist Party of India too have written to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora opposing the move.

In the letter to Mr. Arora, senior RJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Manoj K. Jha said changes in established democratic procedures should take place only after building a broad consensus among all stakeholders. He asked the ECI to withdraw the changes and call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

Mr. Jha said the June 19 amendment, extending postal ballot facility to those affected by Coronavirus and those who are 65 years or above, had “far reaching consequences as far as the procedural integrity of elections” was concerned. The “principle of verification stands greatly undermined”.

“We are also apprehensive that such changes in the electoral process will work in favour of the ruling coalition with monitoring and supervision powers under the current administration,” he wrote.

Mr. Jha pointed out that elections were four months away and there was no urgency to bring the changes right now. “It seems a bit premature to put in place preventive measures in a greatly dynamic situation almost four months in advance,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 3:51:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rjd-opposes-move-to-extend-postal-ballot-facility/article32010289.ece

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