Parliament 'crorepati club': CPI demands proportional system

Parliament 'crorepati club': CPI demands proportional system

Describing present Parliament as a "crorepati club", CPI today demanded electoral reforms and said a proportional system was needed to curb money and muscle power and enable minorities to be properly represented.

Releasing the draft party programme, top CPI leader A B Bardhan said the present Parliamentary system operates in a capitalist society and it has certain limits and distorted by big money and muscle power.

"353 out of 543 MPs in Lok Sabha are crorepatis, making our Parliament a crorepati club. I don't think the crorepati MPs really reflect the aspirations of downtrodden people," he told a press conference.

Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had repeatedly talked about inclusive growth, he said it was a "confession that growth has not been inclusive". Referring to the electoral reforms, the draft document, which was presented in CPI Party Congress, said there was an "urgent need" for electoral reforms if Parliamentary democracy is to truly reflect the verdict of the people.

"While steps have to be taken to debar criminals from contesting and entering Parliament, the present defective 'First Past The Post' system has to be replaced by a system of proportional representation," the draft said.

It said the elections have shown that candidates who garner even less than ten per cent of votes in a constituency can with the seat. "This enables parties or coalition to rule the country with a minority of votes but a majority of seats."

In the 2009 general elections, 145 out of 543 MPs won with less than 20 per cent votes. "In fact only 12 countries follow the First Past the Post system copying it from British electoral practice. The proportional system will curb money power, enable minorities to be properly represented and correctly reflect political and social features of the country," it said.

The draft document said Congress accounts for 141 'crorepatis' in Lok Sabha while BJP has 58. The UPA ministers are worth a total of Rs 500 crore assets, it said. Deploring Naxals, the draft of the party programme said the party will strive to utilise Parliamentary democracy to bring about the required changes in the society.

The draft document also said that attempts are being made to divert people's movement and mass discontent into so-called non-political channels or even reactionary channels through some NGOs financed from abroad by "pro-imperialist sources".

However, it said there are some other NGOs which boldly dare to join and help the people's movements on some specific issues. Noting that regional parties have acquired an important role in the country's politics, it said CPI should closely watch the developments and have a positive attitude towards those who are breaking away from BJP and Congress.

"Old dogmatic ideas or subjective thinking will not help in the given situation today. The concrete conditions existing at thee time will have to be taken into account for assessing the actual possibility and deciding course of action," it said.

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