Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Aug 2018 14:22:25











THE Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) assuming the role of “contractor” to build a major arterial road in the Naxal-infested Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is a great gesture of going beyond their designed role for the larger interest of the Indian society. The anti-Maoist force has achieved a unique first for the security forces and sent a clear message to the private contractors who refused to work in the Naxal-hit region that national cause always takes top priority before anything else. While the gesture talks of a high confidence of the central armed force even in tormenting conditions, it also points to the failure of governance in the region which is causing anxiety among the private contractors. CRPF’s effort should be taken as an exception and not a new norm in trouble-hit areas. It is the primary duty of the government to usher in development in such regions to help the populace stand up to the outlaws. It also stems from the political rot that has affected Bastar, for, certain elements are working overtime to instill fear of Naxals in development agencies and people.



THE demand to revert to the paper ballot by some of the Opposition parties is, to say the least, is retrograde and is purely based on political expediency. In this regard the opinion of one of the former Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) is worth taking note of. Former CEC Mr. V.S. Sampath has rightly said that going back to paper ballot makes no sense. The efficacy of electronic voting machines (EVMs) has been technically tested on the insistence of some of the political parties on a number of occasions and were found to be perfectly sound in their function. To assuage the doubts of the opponents of EVMs, the CEC has also introduced Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). This is as good as the paper ballot as it produces a record for verification whenever required. Besides, EVMs have made the conduct of elections exceptionally smooth so much so that foreign Governments have evinced interest in the working of Indian electoral system. If there is still scope for improvement that should be thought of. Reverting old system is retrograde.