Parties call for ‘cleansing’ of electoral system soon

Political parties on Friday threw their weight behind attempts to cleanse the electoral system of all its ills by demanding that reforms be introduced to that effect at the earliest. They also sought introduction of paper trail of EVMs apart from a complete ban on opinion polls.
At an all-party meeting here with the EC, attended by the three election commissioners, namely V.S. Sampath, H.S. Brahma and S.N.A. Zaidi, representatives of various parties flagged their concerns over the delay in bringing about major electoral reforms. They also demanded a separate meeting to discuss various proposals such as black money in funding of elections and banning candidates with criminal background from contesting polls.
Even as parties favoured the introduction of the paper trail in the next bypoll and extension of it to the 2014 general election, they also questioned the veracity of the thermal paper that is sought to be used. Almost all the parties pitched for an enhanced quality of paper that could be preserved for the record and used in cases arising out of any electoral dispute.
Head of AICC computer cell Vishvajit Singh said, “We are in favour of this measure because it is part of transparency. EC is going in for thermal paper technology at a time when the world is abandoning it. You need to look at newer technology and iron out the glitches.”
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of the BJP said, “We favour the paper back-up of votes through EVMs. The measure should be used in the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. We also raised the issue of use of black money and paid news besides some changes in the model code of conduct.”

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