Ram Madhav pitches for 'Election Commission Cadre'

Ram Madhav pitches for 'Election Commission Cadre'

"It can be a limited cadre but which takes care of the entire activity of the Election Commission, independent of any political interference...probably, it is time we have a separate cadre for them," Madhav said. Credit: PTI

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Friday suggested forming an 'Election Commission cadre', as part of electoral reforms, to take care of the activity of the poll panel independent of any political interference.

"I feel that the Election Commission has an important role. I feel that it should have its own cadre. An Election Commission cadre should develop...," he said. "It can be a limited cadre but which takes care of the entire activity of the Election Commission, independent of any political interference...probably, it is time we have a separate cadre for them," he said.

Madhav was speaking at a conference here on 'Indian Democracy at Work-Money Power in Politics'.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts towards 'one nation' and one election' would be an important milestone in the reforms process, he said.

All political parties have to come together and discuss the modalities on how to do it, he said.

For the purpose of 'one nation, one election', the practice of tabling no-confidence motion should be done away with and there should only be a confidence motion, Madhav said.

He referred to ideas like shifting to a presidential system (of government) or proportional representation and said there are faults and positive sides in every system.

But, pending any such shift, delimitation of constituencies, in which the number of constituencies goes up (reducing the present size of constituencies), should be undertaken, he said, adding this would lead to a reduction in powers concentrated in the hands of legislators at present.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee suggested increasing the number of Lok Sabha constituencies to 1,000, Madhav said.

"A rational way of reorganizing the constituencies has to happen. So that this superman image of our legislators has to change. They have to be more accountable," he said.

Stating that political parties allocate "separate budget" for the last two days of the election, an amount much more than what is allocated for the preceding days, he stressed that this practice should be "crushed."

"For that, internal reform is required but a stricter regime should also be put in place. The EC should have more teeth to control the scenario.

The strength of western democracies is a vibrant watchdog system and an election watchdog system is needed in the country as well," he said. Observing that 'volunteers' are hired by parties to for electoral work, he asked why volunteers cannot be hired as 'watchdogs' during polls.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was one of the panelists, hoped that some pending suggestions made on strengthening the Election Commission would get through for addressing loopholes in the system.

He said electoral reforms should be given due importance by the governments. "I have spent 40 years in public life. I don't think that I have come across any conference of Chief Ministers where electoral reforms have been discussed," he said.

"Equally, any number of meetings of Home Ministers called by Ministry of Home Affairs, they do not discuss electoral offences and how they are being prosecuted or pursued. So, I think we need to bring this on the top of our agenda by governments," he said.

It is the state machinery which has to investigate and prosecute the cases registered during election time, he said.

"The state machinery is not under the Election Commission.So, most issues, they are issues of governance and they have to be dealt with by governments," he said.

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