Emphatic that the electoral reforms would soon be a reality, the Election Commission will be holding a national consultation on the proposed changes once the results of elections in five states are declared.
Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi told Hindustan Times that the commission and the law ministry had conducted six consultations in different parts of the country and the final one will be conducted in New Delhi after the election results are announced.
“We started the consultation process before Anna Hazara’s agitation and the discussions are in the advanced stage. Political parties, academics, civil society groups and legal luminaries have participated in the national consultations,” he said.
Steps in this direction have been suggested. The commission wants those against whom charges have been framed by a court of law for offences stipulating punishment more than five years of jail should be debarred from contesting. In addition, the commission has also recommended that misuse of money in elections such as paid news should be made a punishable offence.
“Painting all politicians black is not good for democracy. We cannot have democracy without politicians. After all, India is a virtual superpower because of wise political leadership,” he said.
In the same vein, the CEC put the onus of cleansing electoral system on political parties saying that if they voluntarily decide not to give tickets to criminals the problem will be sorted out to some extent.