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Idea of poll reforms impractical: Parties

delhi Updated: Aug 30, 2011 14:52 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

Before Anna Hazare can get on his next mission of electoral reforms, parties have expressed reservation about the social activist’s new demands.

On Sunday, Hazare had announced he would fight for electoral reforms such as right to recall and right to reject.

According to Hazare’s demand, right to recall should allow voters to seek disqualification of elected representatives who don't perform satisfactorily. The right to reject means a voter can reject the entire list of candidates in the ballot paper.

The Congress on Monday said these options were not practical.

“Fifty per cent people do not vote. Candidates win elections by getting only three crore votes out of 13 to 14 crore voters. I do not think it is possible...,” party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.

Law minister Salman Khurshid raised the question: "Is it possible to recall the US President or the British MPs?"

BJP leader Rajnath Singh feels the issues “should be taken up seriously”, but party leaders privately maintained that the two demands were “complex and impractical matters”.

The CPM echoed similar concerns: "No government so far has come to power with more than 50% vote at the Centre. As long as there is no partial proportional representation ensuring the winner gets at least 50% support, these reforms are meaningless,” party politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

A top Congress leader said, “No major country has these provisions. Only the erstwhile USSR had it for some time. That too under the single-party rule. This can only be implemented if there is a transfer of votes or voters give their second choices so that finally someone gets more than 50% vote. This will be very difficult to make people understand."

A minister felt the right to recall would be more difficult to implement.

"First of all, it will add to the cost of conducting election. Then, any MLA or MP can easily go to court and challenge the memorandum to recall him. How will it be proved that all signatories are genuine and are not coerced to sign it?”