Even when the last date to send the ballot for the Medical Council of India (MCI) elections to their headquarters in Delhi is April 10, more than half of the members have not yet received them.
Interestingly, even the candidate contesting for the elections has not received his ballot paper.
Members have been questioning the election process since a while, and a member, Dr Dharminder Singh Brar, even challenged the conduct of polls in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Kulwant Singh, who is contesting the polls, said, “How can I stand by the election system, when even I haven't received my ballot till now?”
Singh added that more than 50% doctors had not received their ballot and it was not possible for everyone to go to director of research and medical education (DRME) to get their duplicate vote, therefore, often decreasing the voting percentage in these elections.
There are nearly 15,000 voters in Punjab, but during the elections held in 2009, only 6,000 of them voted, making the vote percentage less than 50%.
Dr GS Grewal, a member of Punjab Medical council (PMC), said the MCI should send the ballot by registered or speed post instead of ordinary post. “How is the MCI sure that by sending ballot through ordinary post, it would reach the right candidate? Many times there are speculations that the ballots have been received at the post office by someone else, and sent in favour of some other candidate. Who would secure the right to vote of the members in such a case?”Grewal added.
He further said that there was no proper system to check if the person who received the ballot voted, or if someone else voted for him.
Condemning the process, Manoj Sobti, member of PMC and former president of Indian Medical Association, Punjab, said, “I was in Hoshiarpur a few days back, and came to know that only 10% MCI members received their ballots, while the rest have been waiting.”
The MCI should think of other options such as e-voting or voting at the office-level so that everybody gets a chance to vote for the highest body of medical profession, Sobti added.