Former CEC Quraishi bats for electoral reforms

·2-min read

New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) Former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi has supported a ban on door-to-door campaigning by candidates in the 'silence period' to prevent allurement of voters using cash and liquor.

He also batted for change in law to allow the Election Commission deregister a political party on various grounds, including repeated violation of the model code.

Delivering a lecture on need for electoral reforms organised to mark the birth anniversary of Justice V R Krishna Iyer on Sunday, he said there should be a ban on door-to-door campaigning during the 48 hours before the beginning of polling as this is the time when cash is slid under the doors and liquor is distributed.

He said the 'silence period' is a time when voter should be left alone to decide on his or her choice.

Quraishi pointed out that while the poll panel has the power to register a political party, it has none to deregister it. When the matter went to the Supreme Court, it said the electoral law will have to be amended for the purpose.

The matter is pending with the government for nearly 20 years, he said, adding that such a power is required to take action against parties which do not submit their accounts in time and violate provisions of the model code repeatedly.

He said there are certain 'bogus' parties which have been established for money laundering and they too need to be deregistered.

The other electoral reform he referred to was related to the appointment and removal of the chief election commissioner and the two fellow election commissioners.

He said the three should be appointed with the consent of the leader of the opposition.

While the CEC can only be removed by impeachment like any judge of the Supreme Court or high courts, the two election commissioners can be removed on the recommendation of the CEC to the government.

He said the two ECs feel like they are on 'probation'. PTI NAB KJ KJ