Letters to the Editor — March 29, 2021

EVM malfunction

It is baffling that the Election Commission of India (ECI) appears to be complacent by saying Electronic Voting Machines and the voter verifiable paper and audit trail used for the Phase I polls malfunctioned less than in previous polls (Page 1, “Bengal, Assam record high turnout in first phase of polls”, March 28). It is a serious issue if a voter pressing the button to cast his vote for a particular party of his choice, finds the vote having been cast in favour of another party. The ECI has the huge task of conducting elections in a free and fair manner and it should not give rise to suspicion that it is a hand-maiden of a particular party.

A. Jainulabdeen,



While it is good news that the first phase of elections was held peacefully in West Bengal and Assam, it is also shocking to learn that at a polling booth in the Majra High Madrasha area of Kanthi in West Bengal, there were allegations that after the vote was cast, the VVPAT slips showed votes for the BJP (Inside pages, “Largely peaceful start to polls in Bengal, Assam”, March 28). While the CEO said the error was addressed, one cannot forget that there were many such complaints reported in the last general election also. The electorate has to be vigilant.

Tharcius S. Fernando,


Mask wearing

The government survey, that over 50% do not wear face masks, does not bode well for India (Page 1, “Over 50% don’t wear masks, finds govt. survey”, March 28). With the health-care systems experiencing COVID-19 fatigue, it will be disastrous if the COVID-19 surge continues and large numbers of people need hospitalisation again. Vaccination and public health campaigns to emphasise the importance of mask wearing and social distancing are the need of the hour if India does not want to find itself in the same situation as last year.

Dr. Thomas Palocaren,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

While the fight against COVID-19 is going on, there is another story. Most people on the streets have forgotten to wear masks and practise social distancing. Why is the urge to protect oneself and others from the virus fading? Vaccination and acceptance of mask-wearing can help India lessen the chances of another wave happening.

Mayashang Nk,

Nambashi Khullen, Yairipok, Manipur


Examination results

The result of the Kerala Administrative Service examination was published by the Kerala Public Service Commission on March 24. In the results of Streams 1 and 2 (SL. No.: 27/2021/ERIII, Cat.No.: 186/2019 and SL. No.: 27/2021/ERIII, Cat.No.: 187/2019) for the KAS Officer (Junior Time Scale) Trainee, on the basis of a written test (descriptive type) held on November 20 and 21, a few roll numbers have appeared in both streams. The numbers 100222, 101032, 101717 and 102748 have been repeated. This shows that there could be other mistakes in the list. Right from the beginning of the KAS examination, there have been a series of issues.

Gayathri S.,


Election duty training

I am a college professor appointed for the first time for election duty for the 2021 Assembly election. I attended two training sessions, on March 13 and March 27. The programme organised by the Election Commission was a farce. No SOP was followed as the classrooms were too small to accommodate the trainees.

The entire day was spent in watching recorded videos (YouTube) of election duties, which could have been circulated on social media to the trainees, saving time, energy and money. The Election Commission ought to have conducted a virtual training programme. The personnel from the Election Office was livid when my colleague was trying to explain to him what we really expected from the training session by asking her not to complain as food had been provided.

We were told that corona patients will be allowed to come to the booth on voting day and the people inside will have to wear a PPE. Why should everybody face a risk when there is something called a postal ballot facility? As the number of booths will increase this time, one can imagine the cost incurred to buy PPE kits for the presiding officers and polling officers. The Election Commission must review its training and revisit its order permitting COVID-19 patients in polling booths.

Abarna Roy,


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Printable version | May 11, 2021 10:33:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-29-2021/article34185039.ece

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