Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Aug 2018 11:23:35

EVEN when the Government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insisted that there should be simultaneous elections in the country, Mr. O.P. Rawat, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) has ruled out the possibility. This was expected, no matter the political pressure. Mr. Rawat has stated clearly that the legal framework needed for simultaneous polls must be put in place.

Naturally, that will take some time. Thus, the speculation that a few State Assembly elections would be deferred and be held together with Lok Sabha elections now stands rested. Though the basic thought of holding simultaneous elections has often been appreciated by many, and that the country was holding such elections initially, the process got disturbed because of various genuine reasons. That process will have to be set right before the old method is restored.

Mr. Rawat had indicated clearly that at least for now, reverting to old method is not possible. This will pose a new challenge as the Government  will have to launch the journey on the legal route and remove all hurdles in holding parallel polls, as a mandatory step. 



THE problem of Sri Lankan Navy capturing fishermen from Tamil Nadu and confiscation of their fishing boats and other equipment appears seemingly intractable as both Governments in Delhi and Colombo somehow have not given due attention to resolving it at their level. As a result the biggest sufferer in this apathy of the two Governments are the poor fishermen who seek to earn their livelihood.

The Sri Lankan Navy captures fishermen from Tamil Nadu and their costly equipment routinely on the premise of trespass of their territorial waters. One wonders whether there is a clear demarcation of territorial waters between India and Sri Lanka at all? Otherwise why would the fishermen routinely risk being captured by Sri Lankan Navy and languish in their jails. Clearly there is something amiss in this.

The issue has to be taken up at the highest level and solution found. The Indian Navy too could help the fishermen in not letting them cross the danger line. Such a simple issue has become needlessly complex, just because we slept.