New Delhi: Asking government to take up
electoral reforms in the coming session of Parliament, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi on Sunday said the time has
come to consider the Right to reject proposal.
The CEC rejected the suggestion for state funding of
elections, saying "this will only further add to the problem
and not curb the use of money power in elections".
"We hope the government will bring about the pending
electoral reforms soon. Reform proposals should be taken very
seriously in the coming session of Parliament... The EC`s
authority needs to be strengthened," he said.
Speaking at a panel discussion on electoral reforms,
Quraishi said "time has come for us to consider the Right to
Reject proposal", but said further discussion was required to
prevent political parties from fielding criminal candidates in
elections. Such a proposal was earlier also demanded by Team
Under this, voters will have the right to reject all the
candidates in the fray if they find none to be suitable.
The CEC said a number of electoral reforms have been
pending with the government and sought a beginning in this
Turning down the idea of state funding, Quraishi said it
will not help in curbing the use of black money in elections.
He also rejected the idea of making voting compulsory as done
in some countries like Australia.
"Voting cannot be made compulsory. In Australia too it is
working hopelessly...It is practically impossible," he said,
adding that such a law could lead to crores of cases because
the law has to be implemented properly.
Quraishi also sought more powers for EC to deregister
political parties indulging in malpractices and also to fix
the limit for money to be spent in elections.
The CEC also sought a ban on all political advertisements
by incumbent governments six months ahead of elections. He
also sought a ban on opinion polls ahead of polls, even though
the exit polls have been banned as per law.
"If exit polls can be banned, so can opinion polls
be...Just as paid news, we have been getting complaints about
opinion polls being paid too," he said.
"There should also be a ban on any kind of advertisement
48 hours before the polls to enable the voters to decide on
their own. At present, print media is allowed to have
advertisements. We want even print media ads by political
parties and leaders should also be banned," he added.
Quraishi also wanted restrictions to be imposed on door to
door campaigning as it led to malpractices like exchange of
money and liquor during personal contact by candidates.