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Political parties push for electoral reforms

In the light of the Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of lawmakers, political parties pushed for electoral reforms.

New Delhi: In the light of the Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of lawmakers, political parties on Wednesday pushed for electoral reforms as the government said it would hold consultations before deciding on the next step.

Most parties reacted cautiously to the landmark verdict saying it was important, but would have to be studied before making a comment.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal said the government will go through the detailed judgement to see its impact on the politics of the country and hold consultations before deciding on the next step.

"We will first read the verdict and see its impact on politics. We shall consult everybody and give our reaction," he said.

He refused to comment on whether government will appeal against the verdict or amend the Representation of the People Act to overturn the verdict, adding any decision will be taken after consulting everybody, including political parties.

AICC general secretary Ajay Maken said Congress has always been supportive of bringing electoral reforms.

"As far as this order is concerned, we will see what the SC has said."

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in the light of the SC order, the process of electoral reforms should be expedited and the government should take steps in this regard on a priority basis.

"Everybody is in favour of free and fair polls as it relates to the credibility of democracy and Parliamentary system...Elections should be free of muscle and money power."

Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said he would not like to comment as he has not seen the verdict.

"BJP always welcomes any step aimed at purifying and strengthening the political system. Serious questions having wider ramifications about this issue have been raised from time to time," he said.

Describing the judgement as an "important one", CPI leader D Raja said, "It is going to have a very serious implication on the entire polity. Political parties will have to study the judgement so that they will get benefited. They will have to educate their own cadres."

He said the question is as to how this is going to be implemented.

"The Election Commission will have to study the judgement and Parliament will have to take a position on RP Act," he said.


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