Address issues of criminalization, money power: Acharya

"Bringing criminals right from jails to (Parliament)House to participate in sessions is not a rare sight in India now. The fact that these criminals were actually voted and elected by people is a disturbing thing," Achary said.

Electoral reforms in the country should address more seriously key issues like increasing criminalisation of politics and money power in elections. Tough measures are necessary to check it, he said while addressing the concluding session of the national seminar on 'Electoral Reforms' here.

Many recommendations and suggestions had been made by the Election Commission and legal experts to tackle this problem. If these recommendations had been implemented properly, many criminals would not have entered the democratic system, he claimed.

Besides criminalisation of politics, huge of amount of money spent in elections should also be taken care of while taking up electoral reforms. "There is a notion that elections in India are the game of the rich. Billions of rupees are spent in various forms of elections conducted in frequent intervals. This uncontrolled use of money degrades the democracy," Achary said.

Any attempt at electoral reforms should be aimed at assuring voters that they would be able to reflect their opinion, he said. Former Supreme Court Judge K T Thomas said expensive elections had allowed corruption to creep into democracy.

One of the pragmatic suggestions to bring down corruption was to cut down the interval between date for the acceptance of nomination and the date of poll, he said.
The seminar was jointly organised by C Achutha Menon Study Center and Library and IGNOU.

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