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‘Proportional representation form of elections need of the hour’

Special Correspondent
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Leaders, including Chakrapani, chairman of AP Legislative Council, CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan, at a seminar in Hyderabad on Sunday.-PHOTO:G. RAMAKRISHNA
Leaders, including Chakrapani, chairman of AP Legislative Council, CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan, at a seminar in Hyderabad on Sunday.-PHOTO:G. RAMAKRISHNA

The CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan on Sunday pitched for proportional representation form of elections in the country on the basis of population to cleanse politics of crime.

Asserting that the recent judgement of Supreme Court barring jailed leaders from contesting elections was no solution to break politician – crime nexus, Mr. Reddy told a seminar here that leaders will be forced to quit public life if the norm was implemented. He said leaders as Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose would not have been in politics in such a situation. In fact, the latter won as Mayor of Calcutta when he was in jail.

The seminar on ‘Representation of People Act – Supreme Court recent judgement’ was organised by the State committee of Indian Association of Lawyers.

The CPI general secretary said proportional representation in elected bodies will be a deterrent to parties from giving ticket to aspirants with criminal background. Otherwise, the parties were looking at winning chances of candidates, no matter their background. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said electoral reforms should include proportional representation of people as a way to curb crime in politics. Crime was only one aspect as there were larger issues to be addressed in politics. People entering politics brought with them caste, money and a political infrastructure that shielded their criminal background.

He said there was nothing big in the judgement as the court did not touch Constitutional validity of election processes. He also said the verdict no doubt gave scope for misuse by ruling party but it was welcome because there was no meaning to democracy if convicted leaders were elected. Legislative Council chairman A. Chakrapani said it was “too much” to bar leaders from contesting elections even if they were in lawful custody. BJP leader K. Laxman and working president of State IAL C. Ajay Kumar also spoke.


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