Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 27 September 2020 7.18 AM IST

EDITORIAL: For whom are these by-elections?


The decision of the Election Commission to hold by-elections in Chavara-Kuttanadu constituencies in November when Assembly election is about to take place in the next April or May is unwarranted.

The tenure of those who reach Assembly through the by-elections will be barely four months. They will have to bid adieu to the Assembly house when the Assembly will be dispersed to set the stage for the next Assembly election. Before that, there will be only one or two assembly sessions.

Most probably budget session will also be a mere ritual. A complete budget will also irrelevant as the election is round the corner.

All the above mentioned facts are political reality that needs to be considered. The main question now is what good the MLAs who reach the assembly to serve the tenure of mere four months can do to the constituency or the people who have elected them.

Forget about their contributions… how can we forget crores of rupees that will be spent from the public exchequer for the by-elections?

The Election Commission should have foreseen the inappropriateness and folly of holding elections to elect two persons for a short period. The Commission will have to complete Bihar Assembly election before November 29. Along with that it has also decided to hold 64 by-elections in various states. And it is ridiculous to see the Commission including among them the states which will have Assembly elections shortly.

Meanwhile, there was nothing unnatural to see political parties going into revelry mood as soon as they heard about the election.

This is a golden opportunity to prepare its workers for the big Assembly election and liven up the poll scene.
They may therefore make maximum use of the situation. But it is good that they think about the big money pumped into the state for conducting elections.
The decision of the election commission at this instance seems to be amateurish. It is not only the matter of money spent; shouldn’t the Election Commission have considered the circumstance in which the Covid transmission is increasing at an alarming pace?

Though there are claims of holding the election after stringently following Covid protocol, these protocol will remain only in paper as the campaign picks up steam. Who cannot imagine that? Actually it is the government and the political parties that have to convince the Election Commission of the total irrelevance of the two by-elections to be held shortly.

Kuttanad constituency seat has been lying vacant since December 20, following the unexpected demise of Thomas Chandy. Chavara MLA Vijayan Pillai’s death was on March 8.

The Election Commission says that Covid had played the spoilsport due to which they couldn’t hold election at the right time but this argument is not true in the case of Kuttanad. In Kuttanad, the by-election was delayed for no valid reason.

Now, the government has announced that Covid transmission has peaked and it will reach the pinnacle in October. All stake holders should [patiently think whether it is wise to hold election for these two seats under the current circumstances. There is no harm if they are left vacant till the next Assembly election. Political parties should also show the patience to wait till the next Assembly election.

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