Electoral democracy dismantled hierarchies, unlocked vast potential of India: Chief Election Commissioner

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Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora (Photo/ANI)
Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], January 25 (ANI): The electoral democracy initiated by the founding fathers of the Indian constitution dismantled the years of hierarchies and unlocked the vast potential of 'we the people', said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora while speaking at the occasion of 11th National Voters' Day celebrations.

"It has been 70 years since the first general election was held in-country in 1951. Having earned the epithet of being an act of faith, the experiment has not only succeeded but has sustained itself. Back then there were many more prophets of doom who were skeptical and clinical of the entire experience. They were from different parts of the world besides some being from India," he said.

CEC Arora termed the introduction of universal adult franchise in a country of "bewildering diversity, ridden with hierarchies and traumatised with the partition", a "bold courageous decision heralding a new era".

"At one stroke the electoral democracy initiated by the founding fathers of our constitution dismantled these hierarchies and unlocked the vast potential of 'we the people'," he added.

CRC recalled that even when the 'architecture of elections' was debated in the constituent assembly, the concern for inscribing 'institutional safeguard' for ensuring that no voter was excluded from the electoral rolls promoted Dr BR Ambedkar to move a radical amendment on June 15, 1949, and to set up an integrated centralised election commission for the country.

"What prompted Dr Ambedkar to propose this change was a concept of intrusion and focus on the voter as central to the conducting election, followed by political parties and entities, which are brick and wall of the system," he noted.

He said the centrality of the voters to the 'entire electoral matrix' is a legacy bequest to us by the 'visionaries who drafted the constitution'.

"No voter to be left behind is not just a motto of symbolic imagery, it articulates the resolve and commitment of over 900 million electors and 12 million election officials to strengthen democracy in the country," Arora said.

CEC called the National Voters' day a tribute to every voter of India whose presence at the polling stations to extend their 'franchise' attests to their faith in the constitution of India.

"It is an articulation of democratic right of every individual and emphatic expression of popular sovereignty which gives the right to choose their representatives," Arora added. (ANI)