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Elections are festival of people and not democracy: Dr SY Quraishi

According to former CEC Dr SY Quraishi, following the strict implementation of model code of conduct, a lot of nuisance is eliminated from the elections. And with increasing participation from voters, the elections have now become the festival of people

According to former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr SY Quraishi, with measures like voter education and strict implementation of model code of conduct, elections in India have become the people's festival.


Speaking at the Mumbai launch of his book “An Undocumented Wonder- the Making of the Great Indian Election”, organised by Moneylife Foundation and supported by Emergent Medi-Tech, Dr Quraishi said, "When we started strict implementation of model code of conduct, one TV anchor, wrote an article saying that the Election Commission has killed the 'festival of democracy'. I wrote a counter article, in which I told her to send her address and I will send the 'festival of democracy' to her house. And what will it contain, somebody will come and paint walls with slogans, somebody will put posters, banners, forcibly put flags, they will shout, if this festival you are missing then we will return it to you!"


"The festival of democracy including nuisance had a voter turnout of 20% at that time. So what festival was it? Now it is people's festival with 80% voter turnout minus the nuisance," the former CEC said.


During his tenure as CEC, Dr Quraishi started an initiative for voter education. Many people, apprehensive about the idea, told him that his job was to conduct elections and not educate voters. He said, "If people don’t come and participate, the vote count is low and the question of legitimacy of the representative is raised. Somebody comes with 15% vote, 85% has not voted for him therefore he is not the real representative. Then some people suggested to make voting mandatory like in Australia. I talked to my friend from that country and asked about his experience. He told me to collect Aus $50 fine, they have to spend Aus $5,000 and litigation of two-three years. And despite all, the voter turnout there is 90%."


He said, "We thought voter education is the answer. They should come out in large number. And we found out in urban areas, voter apathy was more pronoun. To deal with this apathy, voter education was best way. And you can see, how systematic voter education had done wonders, with 70-80% voter turnout and one place in Tripura it is 93%. And that is without compulsion. Here, we are getting 93% turnout with love, persuasion. I think this is the answer."


Talking about his experience in setting up India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM), Dr Quraishi said, "We thought we have come to a stage where we should share our experience (of conducting elections on such a large scale). Again, many people questioned about training foreigners in IIDEM. I said, this institute should train our own 11 million people, and beside that 500 foreigner, what is the problem? And you will be happy to know in three years 42 countries got training from us. Several Ambassadors say what we are doing (at IIDEM) is setting a biggest Indian brand worldwide."


The book was launched in Mumbai on Friday by HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, in the presence of television and film actor Kabir Bedi and noted social activist Medha Patkar.
 (Read: What makes Indian elections a great wonder?  )


Maharashtra's 84 VIPs are guarded by 812 personnel, reveals RTI

Sushilkumar Shinde and his family is the topmost VIP family in the state with 66 security personnel deployed to protect them, reveals a reply received under the RTI

About 812 police officers and security personnel have been deployed for the security of 84 VIPs in Maharashtra, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI). Out of these, 52 personnel are used to provide protection to union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his daughter, Praniti, who is also a member of legislative assembly (MLA).


According to the information received by Pune-based RTI activist Vihar Dhurve, Shinde and his daughter Praniti have been accorded Z-Plus security, and have a total of 52 security personnel guarding them, while the union home minister's wife Ujwala Shinde has been granted a Y-category security and has a total of 14 personnel for her security.


The 12 VIPs that are entitled to Z-plus category security include Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, home minister RR Patil and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.


While there are a total of 46 security personnel guarding Chavan, there are 31 for Ajit Pawar. Minister for public works department (PWD), Chhagan Bhujbal is guarded by 25 security personnel, the RTI reveals.


Maharashtra's former chief minister Ashok Chavan, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria are among the 18 persons that have been granted Z-category security and have 15-22 personnel guarding them.


Dhurve, through his RTI sought to know the total number of police and security force deployed for the protection of political and non-political VIPs in Maharashtra.



Capt Edgar Sylva

3 years ago

I live on the same street as Shahrukh Khan and would like to know how many security & police force personnel are deployed for his & his family protection- including vehicles, etc.
I believe that he paysa pittance to the Govt for this protection but the Govt is totally immune to the inconvenience that these actors & actresses cause to the residents of the area with traffic jams and crowds standing on the middle of the road.
B.J.Road/ H.K.Bhabha Road as a good examle with not a single traffic policeman around (except the constable sitting in the towing van picking up vehicles indiscriminately from even parking areas on the road.
(when I asked him lately about traffic control, he told me it is not his job??)

Eicher Motors Q1 net profit jumps 65% on robust sales

Eicher Motors reported first quarter net profit to Rs160.62 crore on robust sales growth of its Royal Enfield Motorcycle business and exports

Eicher Motors Ltd, the producer of iconic ‘Royal Enfield’ or Bullet brand motorcycles in India, recorded a higher first quarter net profit on robust sales growth in its motorcycle business and exports.


For the quarter to end-March, the trucks, buses and two-wheelers manufacturer, said its stand alone net profit rose 65% to Rs160.62 crore from Rs97.20 crore while total revenues, including sales, increased 79% to Rs720.59 crore from Rs401.99 crore, same period last year.

Eicher Motors’ motorcycle business unit recorded growth of 85% during the first quarter on record sales of 64,268 units of Royal Enfield from 34,736 units, same period year ago.

While the industry continues to decline, Royal Enfield continues to perform exceptionally well posting record sales and production numbers this quarter and working its way to become a leader in the global mid-sized motorcycling industry. We had a very strong volume growth this quarter and we do continue maintain an extremely healthy order book,” said, Siddhartha Lal, managing director & chief executive officer, Eicher Motors.

However, Eicher Motors commercial vehicle business sales remain negative during the quarter due to slowdown in auto industry. Its heavy duty truck sales fell by 32.7% to 1,420 units, light and medium duty trucks by 29.1% to 5,413 units and buses by 15% to 1,859 units respectively. Its Volvo truck sales grew 18.4% to 167 units from 141 units a year ago period. Its exports grew 148.2% to 1,122 units from 452 a year ago period.

The commercial vehicle industry continues to battle the enormous downturn that has been affecting this sector for more than 30 months now. The first quarter of 2014 has been particularly tough that saw the domestic industry (5 tonne and above) decline by 18.3%. Despite tough conditions, VECV has continued to perform well,” said Mr Lal.

On 14th March, Eicher Motors has declared final dividend of Rs30 per share.

Eicher Motors shares hits an all time high of Rs6,756 on 9th May on BSE.

At 2.19pm Monday, Either Motors was trading 1.1% up at Rs6,544 on the BSE, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 2.2% at 23,494.

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