A Code Of Impact!

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AS the code of conduct, ahead of the general Lok Sabha elections shall come into force following the formal notification by the Election Commission of India, transfers and postings of government functionaries, both at the state/UT and Central levels for mature stay of three years and out-of-home districts, is compulsory.  This is mandatory to ensure free and fair elections and reduce the chances of influencing the electorate. So far so good. But this exercise, on the other hand, actually jeopardises the functioning of the administration. For more than three months, pre and post elections, the administration goes into suspended animation mode. People suffer immensely as there are more excuses for not addressing the issues than there is willingness to provide respite to the general public.

In context of Jammu and Kashmir, as we have observed since decades, during the period of code of conduct, people are left at the mercy of God.

It is very popularly said that somewhere in rural Kashmir, the field staff of the power department was working on restoration of the damaged supply line by the time the Election Commission announced the enforcement of code of conduct. The field staff left the restoration work halfway and refused to complete it on the pretext that code of conduct was on and the power supply to the habitation would be restored only after the new government was formed.

This is the ground reality. Code of conduct is an excuse for the administration to make people suffer. Government servants, at various levels, unnecessarily delay the disposal of the routine files, which does not fall under the purview of the code of conduct. While adherence to the code of conduct in all the matters listed under the guidelines has to be ensured; however, at the same time, the government should see to it that the officers do not indulge in malpractices under the garb of code of conduct.

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