On recall option, CEC Quraishi bats for politicians | delhi | Hindustan Times
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On recall option, CEC Quraishi bats for politicians

Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi described electoral reforms issues - right to reject and right to recall - as "ticklish affair". Chetan Chauhan reports. Right to recall: Take poll | Mixed results in recall cases

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2011 14:24 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi described electoral reforms issues - right to reject and right to recall - as "ticklish affair". He called for a national debate before a final decision is taken.

Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday had declared that his next big campaign will be to seek right to recall of elected representatives and right to reject the listed candidates, while ending his 12-day fast on the Lokpal Bill.

"We have not thought about it seriously. It is going to be a ticklish affair," Quraishi told HT. But, in the same vein, he highlighted that electoral reforms were high on the government's agenda, and a blueprint has been prepared through seven nationwide consultations.

Former law minister Veerappa Moily visited election commission twice to discuss electoral reforms, and this is proof enough of the government's seriousness. Quraishi hoped that the Parliament now would consider these reforms as consultations have showed there is lot of interest in them.

But, rather than right to recall, the CEC said a better option was to create awareness among voters about franchise and ensure maximum voter turnout to get "best possible" candidates in legislative bodies.

"They (voters) should choose their representatives carefully so that there is no need for recall," he said.

The right to recall has not been on the commission's agenda as it has never been proposed seriously. Quraishi said that if the government accepts its proposal to debar criminals from contesting, then there will be no need for right to recall.

On the right to reject on which the commission has deliberated, he had some basic questions such as what will happen if majority of people reject all candidates? Will there be another poll? How many elections shall we have?.

"People in India already suffer from election fatigue because of so many elections," he said.

In India, there are different set of elections for panchayati raj bodies, legislative assemblies and Lok Sabha, to be held at least once in five years.

On Anna Hazare's campaign against corruption, Quraishi batted for the government, saying that Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Ground cannot be competitor against Parliament.

Recall experience in India