CEC Quraishi against compulsory voting

S Y Quraishi

“It is neither desirable nor feasible and educating the voters is a better option,” the CEC told correspondents after releasing consultation papers on electoral reforms.

Apart from issues like criminalisation of politics, role of money power, state funding of political parties during elections, adjudication of election petitions and review of the anti-defection law, the proposals also included restricting a person to contest from only one seat instead of two. “The law may be amended to provide for filing election petitions even against defeated candidates on grounds of corruption,” the document said.

“The composition of the State Legislative Councils need a re-look as a special representation in these councils for graduates and teachers has become incongruous in present times as also it is discriminatory vis-à-vis other professionals like advocates, doctors, engineers, agriculturists etc,” it said.

Referring to the consultation papers, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, who was also present on the occasion, said that in the last six decades there were piece-meal attempts to reform the electoral system.

Admitting there was no unanimity over the reforms, Moily said political consensus on the issue could only be arrived at by building public opinion.

“Strong public opinion will force political parties to change their stands,” Moily said, adding that a bill providing for comprehensive electoral reforms could be brought within the next five months.

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