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Besides PMO, Election Commission burning midnight oil

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Published on 21 Dec 2016 1:26 PM GMT

Besides PMO, Election Commission burning midnight oil
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Lucknow: The Prime Minister's office is not the only institution which is working overtime these days. The other is the office of the Election Commission. It is shooting one letter after the other to the government to bring about changes in the electoral system to make it cleaner.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inclination towards changes and his anti-status quo image may have something to do with it. While one of the proposals is to de-list political parties which have not contested elections since registration, the other is to bring down the limit of voluntary donation from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2000.

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The third is not to permit a candidate to fight from two constituencies and the fourth to make bribe given to attract to voters a non-bailable offence. The quantum of punishment for this offence should be increased from six months to two years.

The new government may act on them but some such proposals made in the past have only gathered dust.

It was way back in 2010 when the Commission had urged the government to ban contest from two constituencies by one candidate. Neither has the government supported it nor rejected it so far. However, till early nineties there was no restriction on the number of seats which a candidate could seek election from. It was only in 1996 that the number was fixed as two.

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Similarly, a proposal made by the then Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy in 2004 is still pending with the government. The proposal was to make it compulsory for the political parties to furnish a list of donors, small and big.

The recent proposals of the Commission may not meet the same fate as present government is not averse to changes.

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