OTHERS

No tampering with RPA

Sir, - The proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Act to introduce open ballot for Rajya Sabha elections just to avoid cross-voting will kill the very spirit of the Act. Ballot secrecy is the oxygen of democracy.

The move reflects the weakness of the political leadership which cannot enforce discipline on the members. The role of money power in elections is indeed a menace and has to be curbed, but not by tampering with the RPA.

C.R. Narayanan,

Cuddalore, TN

Sir, - Your editorial `Highly Retrograde' (Oct. 31): while coming down heavily on the NDA Government for trying to do away with the provision of the Rajya Sabha candidates normally being residents of the States concerned, you have stated that this would have gone on as merrily as ever if it were not for the surge of assertiveness on the part of the Election Commission five years ago to take a hard look at the facts.

While it is true that the then Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. T.N. Seshan did try to enforce this provision, he did not succeed and instead got his wings clipped by the government which made the EC a multi-member body.

The very recent re-election of Mr. Manmohan Singh from Assam and the earlier election of Mr. O. Rajagopal from Madhya Pradesh and Mr. S.R. Bommai from Orissa illustrate the fact that this aberration is continuing even today.

It is a pity that the media not only did not support Mr. Seshan at that time but also kept silent when outsiders were elected from different States at regular intervals.

Thus, an opportunity for moulding and asserting public opinion against this fraud on the Constitution was lost.

M.K.B. Nambiar,

Palloor, Mahe

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