Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti Advocates for Drug-Free Elections: Urges Electoral Commission to Ensure Fairness

In a concerted effort to preserve the sanctity of democracy and ensure fair electoral practices, the Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti, a voluntary organization deeply rooted in democratic values, has submitted a memorandum to the State Election Commission. 

The memorandum, signed by representatives from various grassroots organizations across the state, underscores the urgent need to curb the scourge of drug abuse during elections.

The committee, led by State Secretary Satyawan Pundir, expressed grave concerns over the detrimental impact of drug allurements on the electoral process, particularly among the youth demographic. 

Highlighting the disturbing trend of drug-induced inducements by political parties to sway voters, the committee emphasized the deleterious effects of such unethical practices on the fundamental principles of democracy.

“During elections, the rampant distribution of liquor, drugs, and money undermines the integrity of the electoral process, making it nearly impossible to conduct free and fair elections,” remarked Satyawan Pundir.

 He stressed the imperative for electoral authorities to strengthen enforcement mechanisms to detect and deter the illicit distribution and consumption of drugs and alcohol during the election period.

Sumitra Chandel, representing the Beti Bachao Abhiyan, echoed Pundir’s sentiments, lamenting that the allure of drugs and monetary incentives deprives citizens of their fundamental right to participate in free and fair elections. 

She emphasized that such practices not only distort the electoral process but also erode public trust in democratic institutions.

The memorandum presented a comprehensive set of demands to the Election Commissioner, aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process:

The committee urged for bolstered enforcement mechanisms to detect and prevent the distribution and consumption of illegal drugs and liquor during elections.

 Increased vigilance at polling stations to thwart pressure, bribery, and other forms of electoral fraud was deemed crucial.

 Coordination with law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, and stakeholders to raise awareness about the adverse consequences of participating in illegal activities during elections.

NN NAdvocated for stringent punitive action against those found involved in electoral malpractices, sending a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Additionally, Kapil Sharma, the State Treasurer of Nojwan Sabha, emphasized the importance of leveraging technology and innovative solutions to monitor and track suspicious activities that compromise the integrity of the electoral process.

Dr. Ravi Bhushan, representing Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, expressed confidence in the leadership of the Election Commissioner, asserting that the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024 would be conducted with the highest standards of transparency, fairness, and integrity.

Naveen Sharma, the District Secretary, pledged the organization’s unwavering support to the electoral authorities in their endeavors to ensure a smooth and democratic electoral process.

In conclusion, the Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti called upon the Election Commissioner to proactively address the challenges posed by electoral malpractices, thereby upholding democratic principles and restoring the confidence of the citizens of Himachal Pradesh in the electoral system. 

The committee expressed optimism that through collaborative efforts and stringent measures, the upcoming elections would be a testament to the resilience of democracy in the state.

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