Former chief election commissioners call for fewer phases of polls
Though the Election Commission maintains the conduct code does not hamper governance, political parties have complained that the provision slows down administrative work.india Updated: May 21, 2018 22:39 IST
Former chief election commissioners (CECs) have called for the poll process to be shortened and voting not be staggered over several phases while making a pitch for greater transparency at a round table here on Monday.
They also called for results from electronic voting machines and paper trail machines, better known as VVPATS, be tallied in more than one polling station per constituency, a statement issued by the election commission (EC) said. The code of conduct kicks in the moment elections are called and remains in place till the counting day. During the period, the government is barred from making an announcement that can influence voters and impact poll outcome.
“Ideally the entire election process should not exceed 46 days. However, in some cases MCC (model code of conduct) has been implemented for a longer duration, since the elections were held in several phases,” an official privy to the developments said, requesting anonymity.
Though the poll panel maintains the conduct code does not hamper governance, political parties have complained that the provision slows down administrative work.
The conduct code is one of the reasons cited by the ruling BJP while making a pitch for simultaneous Lok Sabha and state elections. “There was a view that unless the state going to polls is very big or there are law and order concerns, the election should not be spread over several phases,” the official said.
Barring Uttar Pradesh that voted in seven phases, voting was done in a single day for most assembly elections in 2017.
The former commissioners also favoured increasing the number of polling stations where the count from EVMs is tallied with the VVPAT machines, another official said.
MS Gill, JM Lyngdoh, TS Krishna Murthy, BB Tandon, SY Quraishi, VS Sampath, HR Bramha, Nasim Zaidi and GVG Krishnamurty attended the meeting.
First Published: May 21, 2018 22:38 IST