CPI (M) to raise ‘harmful’ effects of proposals like proxy voting

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has expressed concern over the ‘harmful’ proposals like allowing proxy voting by electors, claiming that steps like these will give scope for several irregularities in the election process.

The introduction of electronically transmitted postal ballot system was equally dangerous, the party said. The Election Commission’s decisions allowing donations by corporates to political parties by lifting the ceiling on the quantum of funds that could be given as political funding would pose threat to free and fair election allowing the “corporates to ensure election of government of their choice”, CPI (M) polit bureau member B.V. Raghavulu said.

The CPI (M) had resolved to raise these issues during the all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission in New Delhi on Monday. According to a note circulated by the Election Commission, fidelity of electoral rolls, gender representation in political parties, election expenditure and alternative modes of voting for domestic migrants and absentee voters among others would form part of the agenda.

Mr. Raghavulu lamented that the election authority had permitted amendments to the election laws to allow issuance of election bonds through which corporates could contribute donations to political parties without the need for disclosing their identity or the quantum of donation. In addition, norms relating to funding by foreign companies had also been relaxed by the EC, through which foreign companies could route funds to political parties through their offices located in the country.

“If these changes are allowed, elections will forthwith become corporate elections, not those conducted through democratic means,” he said. The CPI (M) was therefore of firm view that the authorities concerned consider introduction of State funding of elections either fully or partially as also for proportional representation of political parties on the basis of votes secured by them. According to the present system, there was prescribed ceiling of election expenditure for the candidates, but not for political parties. Changes should be made to ensure that spending by the respective political parties also formed part of the candidates’ expenditure.

“The first-past-the-post system in vogue at present should be changed ensuring that parties which get specified quantum of votes have representation in the elected houses,” he said. On the debate on electronic voting machines, he said the CPI (M) was in favour of deployment of EVMs rather than paper ballot. The election authority should take steps to ensure that the complaints being raised about EVMs and the recently introduced voter verified paper audit trail system system were adequately addressed.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 7:28:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/cpi-m-to-raise-harmful-effects-of-proposals-like-proxy-voting/article24787173.ece

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