Bar criminals from polls, CEC tells govt

The Election Commission also favours disqualification of incumbent MPs and MLAs on conviction in cases involving serious charges.

Updated: Jan 10, 2011, 00:07 AM IST

New Delhi: The Election Commission wants the government and Parliament to "revisit" the issue of criminalisation of politics and take urgent steps to bar candidates facing serious charges of murder, rape and extortion from contesting elections.

The Commission also favours disqualification of incumbent MPs and MLAs on conviction in cases involving serious charges.

Worried that criminalisation of politics or politicisation of criminals is an ill plaguing the electoral system increasingly, the Commission says the issue needs to be revisited to enhance the faith of citizens in democracy and to improve the quality of elections.

"I would like to reiterate that such temporary debarment will be in the larger public interest," Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi told a news agency in a wide-ranging interview.

It covered issues ranging from electoral reforms to mushrooming growth of political parties to independent functioning of the Commission.

PTI