Electoral reforms were back on high political stage with vice president Hamid Ansari and law minister Ashwani Kumar terming them the need of the day.
However, activists said the government was non-serious about any “meaningful” reform.
Ansari called for redressal of limitations in the country’s electoral system on issues such as right to reject and candidates winning not on basis of majority but on plurality. The vice president was addressing a meet organised on the National Voters Day.
“For a mature democracy like ours, both these limitations of our electoral system needs to be addressed,” he said, adding 82.68% candidates in the present Lok Sabha won with less than 50% of the votes cast.
Later, the law minister said there was unanimity that electoral reforms were needed and assured that the government would move forward to bring reforms in the sector.
The law minister also referred to suggestions of Justice Verma committee on debarring criminals from contesting elections and allowing CAG to audit declaration of candidates and said the law commission would consider them.
However, Kumar’s dilly-dallying earned him a strong reaction from Jagdeep S Chhokar, founding member of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
“It is very disturbing…the government has no intention whatsoever to anything to prevent people with criminal charges from being elected to Parliament.