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State funding of elections is no good: CEC

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 13:42

New Delhi: Disagreeing with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi has said that state funding of elections is no answer to black money.

"State funding will not take care of black money... The voters should be educated about ethical practices," Quraishi told a news channel in an interview.

Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha on Saturday that the state should fund elections. Quraishi differed: "State funding is not a good solution. It is not white money we are after but black money."

He also described Anna Hazares`s fast for a strong Lokpal as a wake-up call against galloping corruption. The hunger strike ended on Sunday.

And he added that the time had come to look at the much talked about electoral reforms.

The Election Commission, Quraishi said, was trying to fight money power in elections.

He said that in the Tamil Nadu elections of April, many voters alerted his office about money being distributed by candidates to buy votes.

Quraishi said those charged by courts should not be allowed to contest elections.

He admitted that several ministers and chief ministers were opposed to this idea.

According to Quraishi, unlike lakhs of undertrials who were being denied their fundamental rights and liberties, politicians were only being denied the right to contest.

But he disagreed with his predecessor James Lyngdoh, who has been quoted as saying that politicians were a cancer to society.

"I strongly oppose such a view. We should be proud of our democracy. We can`t hate our politicians and love democracy."


First Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 13:42

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