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A risky tactic

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-03-2017 Livemint

First, it was Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati who alleged that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in the Uttar Pradesh election had been tampered with. Then, the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav seemed to back her up, if more subtly. Now, it’s Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal blaming the EVMs for the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) loss in Punjab elections.

This is not the first time in the recent past that political parties have cast aspersions on the integrity of public institutions for political reasons. The currency swap initiative saw the Reserve Bank of India similarly come under fire—although, admittedly, the RBI’s lack of communication and clarity didn’t help matters. Then, when the latest growth figures proved to be unexpectedly healthy, the Central Statistics Office was all but accused of cooking the books.

These are dangerous tactics. Such institutions cannot be above reproach—but accusations fuelled purely by political motives undermine the governance framework and set a poor precedent that may well come back to haunt the parties doing the accusing.

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