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‘No govt-promoted advertisement six months before election`

Last Updated: Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 20:59

Vadodara: Former Chief Election Commissioner
N Gopalswami Sunday said that government-promoted
advertisements should not come up six months before election.

Delivering a speech on "Electoral Agenda" at the diamond
jubilee celebrations of the Medical College of Vadodara here
today, Gopalswami proposed electoral reforms, which include
decriminalisation of politics, restricting number of seats a
person can contest, restricting exit polls and opinion polls
and barring surrogate advertisements in print media.

He also proposed audit of party accounts, no
government-promoted advertisement six months before election,
provision for no choice voting, no political advertisements on
television channels, and decision on anti-defection cases.

Talking about the road ahead in electoral reforms,
Gopalswami said, "There should be fixed term for legislatures
and the need to bag over 50 percent votes to be adjudged as

Gopalswami was of the view for proportional
representation and state funding of elections. He said, "There
is a need for law to regulate parties and inner party
democracy and audit of party accounts."

The former CEC also suggested amendment to voting rules
to enable voter to vote for none of the candidates in the

"There is also a need for single mandatory ID cards and
transparency in public affairs (use of RTI)," he said.

Correcting electoral rolls by giving fair opportunity to
all for addition and deletion of names, freedom for filing
nominations to all eligible persons and no coercion for
abstention or casting of votes are essential for a credible
election, Gopalswami said.

Proper enforcement of model code of conduct for creating
a level playing field, incurring of expenditure by candidates
within the prescribed limits and transparency in the electoral
operations are also necessary, he said.

Talking about violence and elections, he said use of
central police forces extensively is now every where, which
was not the case before. "Earlier, it (use of Central police
force) used to take place in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh only," he


First Published: Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 20:59

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