Political parties oppose audit of annual accounts

In their Oct 4 meeting with the Election Commission, political parties told the poll panel that "they themselves are getting their accounts audited through their auditors and submitting annual returns to Income Tax Authorities".

The meeting with recognised national and state political parties also discussed issues related to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), money power in elections, "paid news" and criminalization of politics.

The Election Commission said in a statement here that many political parties said that the possibility of state funding of elections should also be explored.

"They also expressed the view that the ceiling on election expenditure should be raised in view of inflation," the commission said. 

The poll panel said the parties were also not in favour of changing the present law to curb the issue of criminalization of Politics.

"They (the parties) felt that under the system of jurisprudence in India a person is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty," the commission said. The parties, however, assured the Commission that they will exercise more self regulation while fielding their candidates.

The parties agreed that amendments might be required in the Representation of the People Act and for an effective control over paid news by including it in the list of corrupt practices.

There was consensus among political parties for the continued use of Electronic Voting Machines.

The poll panel has also decided to refer to a technical expert committee, the suggestion by some parties for incorporating a 'Voter Verifiable Paper Trail' in EVMs, a paper slip for voters as proof of their vote.

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