Integrity of ECI at stake

The delay in announcement of Gujarat election is raising question on the functioning of election commission of India (ECI). Though the dates for Himachal Pradesh election has already been announced, the commission is yet to announce the date for Gujarat election. This is strange considering the fact that term of the assembly of both the state is coming to end around same time. This unexpected act of commission has given ammunition to the opposition parties to launch scathing attack on ECI.
The opposition parties alleged that commission is working at the behest of PM Narendra Modi and is delaying the announcement of date to make way for Mr Modi to offer developmental package to Gujarat. Also a section of national media has carried the report of how Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti last year sought favour from Gujarat government to retain the official bungalow at Ahmedabad. All these allegations have raised serious concern on the integrity of CEC Joti. It also puts question mark over the autonomy of election commission at large. For Indian democracy to flourish it is important that institutions like election commission remains neutral and act autonomous. Now the onus lies on commission to act quickly and restore the sanctity of institution. If they continue to delay in announcing the dates for Gujarat poll it will give more chances to the critic to question its integrity.