Unfair demand

Unfair demand: Election Commission must review its call on cash withdrawal...

Understanding the other side

This refers to your editorial “Unfairdemand” (Business Standard, January 31). The role of hard cash in electioneering is again in focus. This time, unfortunately, a statutory body responsible for monitoring abuse of cash in elections is openly coming out making a plea that 'cash' should play a greater role in elections.
It needs to be clearly understood that GOI or RBI are not standing in the way of candidates spending 'money' within the allowed ceilings. The limits for withdrawals are applicable to cash withdrawals from single savings bank accounts and not on 'expenditure'. These limits are, as rightly pointed out by you, to all citizens in India across geographies.
A section of the media is celebrating as if there is a tussle between EC and RBI, while both are just performing their assigned roles within their legal and policy constraints. This was an avoidable episode, if only the Election Commission had followed the practice of consulting with the stakeholders (which RBI has been practicing religiously for the last several years), before issuing ‘instructions’ using the constitutional authority.
If statutory bodies like Election Commission assert authority selectively and embarrass government, problems they create will get resolved, but the wounds such actions inflict on their otherwise creditable performance record will leave unforgettable scars. Mutual consultations and effort to understand the constraints of the other side make democratic processes more graceful and acceptable.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


S.K.Gupta said…
Since the RBI has already removed the withdrawal restrictions except in case of Savings account, the stand taken by the editorial though valid and well meaning, loses all its significance. However, the EC batting for the encouragement of infamous Cash transactions by the contesting candidates came as a big surprise. In all fairness, these would be 'servants of the people' should have also been asked to travel in the same boat as happens with the masses itself across the country.



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