Parties seek early electoral reforms, favour EVMs paper trail

Amid growing use of money power, political parties demanded introduction of electoral reforms to curb black money in funding of election and banning those with criminal background from contesting.

New Delhi: Amid concerns over growing use of money power, majority of political parties on Friday demanded early introduction of electoral reforms to curb black money in funding of elections and banning candidates with criminal background from contesting polls.
They also favoured introduction of paper trail of EVMs and demanded that the electoral reform be introduced in the next general elections.

At an all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission here, representatives of various political parties sought a ban on opinion polls carried in various media.

Raising concerns over the "inaction" in bringing key electoral reforms, they demanded convening of a separate meeting to discuss the measures.

At today`s meeting to discuss the paper trail of votes through EVMs, some parties raised concerns on the quality of paper used and its printing so that it could last a few years in case of a dispute or court case.

Questioning the use of thermal paper for printing of paper trail of votes, the parties demanded that the printing and paper be improved further for preservation of such record in case of any dispute.

Various parties suggested that the measure be introduced soonest in a bypoll and later in a complete election after bringing some improvisation in the measure.

While Congress wanted further improvement in paper trail of EVMs, BJP demanded that it be introduced in next general election. Top election officials told PTI that after improvements in printing and paper, paper trail of votes "can be introduced in the next six to eight months".