Election Commission-BJP Nexus Is All too Clear – and Bengal Is the Latest Example – By P. Raman
In their seminal work How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt put it succinctly: democracies die at the hands of elected leaders who subvert the very process that brought them to power. The elected authoritarians slowly, but steadily, weaken the critical institutions like the judiciary and press and the established political norms.
The authoritarians employ ingenious methods to get re-elected with a bigger majority. That will give them not only legitimacy but an aura of invincibility. Of over two dozen global studies on poll rigging, How to Steal an Election in Broad Daylight by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas and How Autocrats can Rig the Game and Damage Democracy by Lucan Ahmad Way and Steven Levitsky stand out.
Levitsky narrates how the ruling parties pack judiciaries, electoral commissions and other independent bodies to ensure that the incumbent will win critical electoral, legal or other disputes. The professors mentioned rigging techniques like gerrymandering, rotten borrows and putting up namesakes to confuse the voters. None of this is new to Indians….