THE controversy over the new voters' list is still persisting. It has rather deepened after the High Court verdict. The Court ordered preparation of the list on the basis of the existing one, instead of going for a new one. Now the government and the opposition are giving explanation of the Court verdict according to their own line. And the enumerators are continuing their works for fresh listing.
In fact the controversy could be avoided easily. There is no doubt that a full and complete voters' list is the foundation for a free and fair election. If this is so we are at a loss to understand why the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) appears to be determined to go ahead unilaterally with the framing of a new voters' list for the upcoming general elections when the current process has become so riddled with confusion and controversy. He even did not care to talk with other election commissioners. The year has begun with the enumerators going door to door to gather information to compile the new voters' list, and the CEC has given every indication that he intends to go ahead with the process -- whether his fellow members of the EC, or anyone else, like it or not. This one-man show has, in fact raised the controversy, not only the voters' list preparation, but also about the CEC himself. It now seems that the CEC has a political agenda to serve on this issue.
Making matters worse, the CEC has not even offered any reason as to why he has chosen to act unilaterally, overruling the two other members of the EC, and moving ahead with the process without caring the least about public opinion. Otherwise, he would have chosen the path of resolving the problems through negotiations, discussions and compromise. Unilateralist approach will serve no worthwhile purpose.
The voters' roll preparation works not only need to be above question, but also should be considered by the people as being above reproach.