After economic reform, an electoral reform may be made
Lucknow: An electoral reform may be made in the country in addition to the economic reform which is already underway, despite opposition by vested interest. The Election Commission has mooted several proposals in this regard and sent them to the government for the final decision before the assembly polls in five states which will be held early next year.
One of the changes suggested by the Commission is to disallow a person, howsoever big, contesting from two constituencies. Many top politicians who were not sure of victory used to file nominations from two places to ensure success. The list includes almost all top political leaders.
The Commission had made this suggestion in 2004 too but it was not accepted by the government, may be because of opposition by most of the parties.
Partly for this reason, it has given an option. If it is not acceptable, the government should at least raise the amount payable for vacating one of the seats . Presently, Rs five lakh is to be paid for vacating an assembly seat and double the amount for resigning from one of the seats won in the Lok Sabah election.
The Commission is of the view it should be doubled in view of the rise in prices everywhere. The government may favour it as it is not asking too much.
The change was effected in the year 1996. Before that there was no restriction on the number of seats a candidate could fight from.
The Commission, in its attempt to clear the system, has also made some other suggestions. It has expressed itself in favour for delisting political parties registered with the Commission which has not contested any election so far. Later on, their registration may be cancelled.
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According to official sources, the number of such parties are 400 . They might have been set up for some other purposes. Donations to the registered political parties are exempt from income tax. To evade taxes could be one of the purposes.
All this will require amendment in the Representation of Peoples Act. Therefore, the election regulator has written to the central government to examine these suggestions and take appropriate measures to improve the electoral system.
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