Parties need to introspect over use of money power: CEC

Voicing serious concern over the growing influence of money power in elections, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi on Friday appealed to political parties to introspect over it as it was playing havoc with the system.

New Delhi: Voicing serious concern over
the growing influence of money power in elections, Chief
Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Friday appealed to political
parties to introspect over it as it was playing havoc with the
system.

Quraishi said the Commission has seized Rs 70 crore
from the five states which went to polls over the past six
weeks and out of this, a whopping Rs 60 crore was recovered
from Tamil Nadu.

"It has become a matter of concern for us. We do feel
that for every Rs one crore we seize, we are preventing the
entry of Rs 40-50 crore," Quraishi said appealing to parties
to introspect.

He said money power was playing "havoc" with the
electoral system in the country and Election Commission is
fine-tuning its means to deal effectively with the menace.

"It is not one party which is guilty. All parties are
guilty. Some do it more, some do it less. They have to come
together and introspect," he said.

Asked about the electoral reforms, the Chief Election
Commissioner said six regional consultations have already been
held and the seventh one is scheduled in Guwahati on June
five.

"After that we will have a national meeting with the
Prime Minister and other leaders attending it. We hope to go
forward," he said.

Asked about apprehensions of violence in West Bengal
after the results were out, Quraishi maintained that the
Election Commission`s job is over after the counting.

However, he said, since there were apprehensions of
violence in the state, the Commission has instructed the
central forces to stay put in the state for ten more days.

"I agree we have those apprehensions...We have taken
abundant precautions. The forces will continue to be in Bengal
for ten more days. This is an unprecedented," he said
expressing hope tempers should cool down by that time.

Quraishi also downplayed questions about misbehaviour
of some security personnel during elections in Bengal, terming
these as "stray" incidents. "Small complaints should not
distract us," he said.

He also lauded the bureaucracy as a whole for
delivering "perfect" elections.

PTI

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