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Updated: November 19, 2011 23:51 IST

EC keen on poll reform to decriminalise politics: Quraishi

J Balaji
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A file picture of CEC S.Y. Quraishi during a press meet in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.
The Hindu
A file picture of CEC S.Y. Quraishi during a press meet in Kolkata. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.

The Election Commission is eagerly waiting for the introduction of the much talked about electoral reforms Bill in the ensuing winter session of the parliament as hinted by Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid recently as the Commission is keen on poll reform to decriminalise politics.

Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi told “The Hindu” here on Saturday that the Commission had even suggested to the government that those persons against whom a charge sheet was filed in the court for the offence/s for which the maximum sentence was five or more years should be debarred from contesting the poll. The EC had wanted to ensure that criminals did not enter the corridors of power.

Similarly strict public scrutiny of financial transactions of the political parties had also been suggested as the Commission felt that abundant use of “money power” during polls was the biggest challenge to the conduct of free and fair elections with level playing field for all the candidates.

“In fact we have made some suggestions on the state funding of elections to the government when the draft Bill was circulated to the Commission. It is to be seen what suggestions of the Commission have been included in the Bill by the government,” Mr. Quraishi said.

Sources said the electoral reforms Bill, part of which dealt with “decriminalisation of politics” , had inbuilt measures to prevent its misuse as it specifies that the provision would not apply in cases where charges were framed in the court less than six months before the date of elections.

The other subjects which were likely to find place in the new Bill on election laws might be de-communalisation of elections, conduct, regulation and better management of elections, adjudication of election disputes and media and elections.

There could be consultations with the representatives of the recognised political parties by the government before introducing the Bill in the parliament.

It may be recalled that the Commission had even suggested for introduction of a button in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) giving the option to the voters the right to reject the wrong candidates by pressing “none of the above”. Through this the possibility of wrong candidates getting elected would be averted and at the same time the secrecy of the ballot too would be maintained, sources said.

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Why worried of electoral reforms? All the citizens of this country
whether rich or poor, educated or illiterate, trader or worker,
student or professor just understand the importance of 'VOTE'. Cast
your vote to elect the right person and do not bother about electoral
reforms. Choose politician's with clean character and not criminals or
corrupt. Do not sell yourself for a sari or whisky or money or
anything (TV / Laptop or other item). We have paid enough price by
acts of politicians, political parties and its affiliations. The
mockery of democracy by cunning acts of politicians had not yielded
right results accept divided this country on caste & religion lines.
We have been deprived of even basic rights like Security, Health,
Food, Education and Employment. I sincerely appeal to do your duty
(VOTE FOR THE RIGHT PERSON WITHOUT FAIL) and let the Electoral reforms
take its own course some day or the other for betterment of this
country. DO VOTE !!!

from:  jKotti
Posted on: Dec 24, 2011 at 19:40 IST

If the election commissions suggestions are taken, how can the these parties like congress & others which are depending only on criminal background candidates to easily reelected & come to power to loot the country & people as they are doing it all these years, now getting partially exposed by scam.The UPA in power is trying to protect these corrupt gang with all possible means.If money power is checked their future is doomed.Knowing fully well is it ever possible for the govt in power run by, corrupt to core ,party? .Will such a Congress party pay heed & bring in reforms? It is futile to expect & a fool's dream as long as the congress party is voted to power. The way they (UPA,congress) are obstructing Jan Lokpal Bill to effectively control corruption in party in pow2er is a clear message that they do not bring in reforms detrimental to their existence, & making illegal money while in power by such dubious means.

from:  canamedi
Posted on: Dec 24, 2011 at 19:08 IST

If Election Commission want to decriminalization of politics they can
do it very well, but they are also somehow influenced by politician.
If a person like Lalu (41 FIR registered by CBI) can fight the
election and become the minister, why other not followed him? I think
a person who has pending case more than 2 yrs long he/she should be
thrown out from the election it does not matter from which party he is
belonging. Second thing in today's democracy in India, dynastism is
highly influenced in election. Why election commission is not making
it mandatory that only person belonging from a constituency will be
eligible to fight the election for that constituency only? Also Why
election commission is allowing a person to contest election in 2
seats at once? Is it not the misuse of power and money? And above all
why CEC is not abolish the multiparty system in India????? I would
like to request to the CEC to look into these matter.

from:  Shiv Shankar
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 19:53 IST

If the seed is rotten, so is the fruit! Election Commission will do a lot by pushing electoral reforms specially related to decriminalization of politics. Its not very difficult to understand the harm a legislator with criminal background does to Indian polity. Isn't it a folly of democracy when criminals and people with dubious backgrounds become ministers? Time is ripe for government to act as an enabler in cleansing the murky politics of the nation.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 12:17 IST
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