Team Anna raises ante on electoral reforms
Just before start of budget session, Team Anna raised the pitch and demanded that the right to reject option should be included in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). HT reports.delhi Updated: Feb 23, 2012 20:47 IST
Just before start of budget session, Team Anna raised the pitch and demanded that the right to reject option should be included in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
Team Anna members led by Anna Hazare met Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Thursday and also demanded debarment of candidates against whom court has framed charges from contesting elections.
The Team raised issues like inclusion of form 49(O), wherein a voter can say he does not want to vote for any of the candidates, use of totalizer in the counting process and barring of candidates against whom courts have framed charges.
The Election Commission had earlier asked the government to make appropriate change in rules to provide an option of “right to reject’ in EVMs and debar candidates against whom charges have been frames for offences inviting punishment of five years or jail or more.
Many of the electoral reforms are pending with the government since 2004 but Team Anna has seized the opportunity to attack the government for inaction.
The team will take up electoral reforms with the Lokpal Bill once the elections in five states get over in first week of March. “Electoral reforms will help in cleansing the system,” Hazare said.
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi described the meeting useful and said the receptive to their ideas and demands. She said there was no need for bringing the right to reject issue in Parliament as it just needed an amendment in rules. "The matter is pending with the law ministry since 2001. What is needed is a rule amendment. It just needs a notification,” she told reporters.
To a question on reports about government plans to take the power from the Commission to oversee implementation of Model Code of Conduct, Hazare said it was wrong if the government was planning to do so.
“This is wrong. The election commission is an independent body If there is interference, then the body will lose it power. If the government does so, then there is no point in talking about independence of the commission,” he said.
While the Chief Election Commissiner is constitutionally protected, Hazare said also said the two Election Commissioners should also be given the same status.