Skip to main content

CEC says electoral reforms will strengthen democracy

EC for legislative framework to deal with the issues such as paid news

Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath delivering the Jhabarmal Sharma memorial lecture, in Jaipur on Saturday.— Photo: Rohit Jain Paras
Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath delivering the Jhabarmal Sharma memorial lecture, in Jaipur on Saturday.— Photo: Rohit Jain Paras
Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath on Saturday said the electoral reforms recommended by the Election Commission would strengthen democracy and bring about radical changes by ensuring transparency in the functioning of political parties, keeping a check on expenditures and setting in motion decriminalisation of politics.

Delivering the 23rd Jhabarmal Sharma memorial lecture here, Mr. Sampath said he was in favour of a well-defined legislative framework to deal with the issues such as paid news and candidates filing false affidavits with their nomination papers. In this context, he called upon the media to mobilise public opinion for cleansing the political system.
Jaipur-based Hindi daily, Rajasthan Patrika organised the lecture to commemorate noted journalist and historian Jhabarmal Sharma. State Lokayukta Sajjan Singh Kothari presided. Mr. Sampath said he had written to the Union Law Ministry for introducing new provisions for disqualification of candidates and two years’ imprisonment for those furnishing incorrect details in their affidavits. Similarly, the menace of paid news could be addressed through strict monitoring.
The CEC praised the Supreme Court for introducing several new provisions, including the “none of the above” option in the electronic voting machines, through its proactive judgments and said these initiatives required urgent attention of law makers. The apex court also protected the Election Commission’s autonomy, he noted.
Mr. Sampath said while there was scope for more electoral reforms, the view taken by a section of political parties that the EC should only be concerned about free and fair polls was debatable. “It is within our mandate to increase people’s participation [in democracy] by trying to enhance the voting percentage.”
“The higher the participation, the better is the quality of elected representatives,” he said, while pointing out that the recent Assembly elections in five States had witnessed a phenomenal increase in voting percentage. He said the EC would make greater efforts to deal with “urban apathy” and increase the voter turnout in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Sampath said vesting the Election Commission with more powers would help it carry out proper monitoring of political parties and look into the methods of collection and expenditure of funds by them. “As of now, the Commission does not enjoy powers to derecognise even those parties which do not contest elections.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…