No democracy can be meaningful unless it is inclusive for all: CEC

NEW DELHI, 11 Aug: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Thursday said no democracy can ever be meaningful and aspirational unless it is inclusive for all citizens, accessible without fear or favour and participative despite differential social, political, and economic vulnerabilities.

Kumar also asserted that the framework for assessment and “so-called ranking” of democracies by global evaluating agencies should be objective and contextual, factoring in the magnitude, socio-cultural and geographical context in which each country and election management bodies function.

Referring to holding elections in India, he said India has witnessed a 235.72 percent increase in female electors since the 1971 elections.

Kumar made these remarks while delivering his keynote address at the virtual meet of the Asian Regional Forum on the theme ‘Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative’.

The CEC exhorted all election management bodies to carry out continuous self-evaluation and strengthen their systems to meet the rising expectations from citizens and deal with the emerging challenges during the electoral process, the poll panel said in a statement.

Addressing the event, Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said that issues of accessibility are universal and the most marginalised groups face barriers to their participation in elections, which has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. (PTI)