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Limitations in electoral system need to be redressed: Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday called for redressal of limitations in the country`s electoral system.



New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday called for redressal of limitations in the country`s electoral system on issues like right to reject and candidates winning not on the basis of majority but on plurality.

"For a mature democracy like ours, both these limitations of our electoral system require to be addressed," he said, addressing the National Voters Day here today.

Ansari said the right to reject would be preferable to abstention from voting and sought working out procedural modalities for implementing it in the country on the model of some democracies where it is in vogue.

With 82.68 per cent candidates in the present Lok Sabha winning with less than 50 per cent of the votes cast, Ansari said the system encourages candidates to focus on securing votes of a segment of the electorate that emphasise on social divisions.

Terming the "first-past-the-post system", in which the successful candidate wins on plurality rather than a majority of votes cast, as the second corrective in our electoral system, he said its limitation is evident from factual data available.

While the percentage of successful candidates securing less than 50 per cent of votes cast in 1952 polls was 67.28 per cent which went down to 58.09 per cent in 1957, it has grown to 82.68 per cent in the last Lok Sabha elections.

"When this percentage is considered alongside the average voter turnout, it would suggest that the elected representative may not, often is not, representative of his/her electoral constituency."

"This system encourages candidates to focus on securing votes of a segment of the electorate and thereby accentuate or reinforce social divisions based on narrower considerations that derogate from inclusiveness and promote divisive tendencies and social conflict," Ansari said.

PTI

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