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Poll reforms proposal by Dec: Moily

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 12 � The Committee on Electoral Reforms constituted by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India will complete the preparation of a legislative proposal on electoral reforms by December this year.

This was announced by Union Minister for Law and Justice Dr M Veerappa Moily here today.

Addressing mediapersons after participating in the �Regional Consultation on Electoral Reforms� organised by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and the Election Commission of India, Dr Moily said that the need of the time was comprehensive electoral reforms to fulfil the constitutional aspirations of the people.

"The elections are the hallmark of our democracy and if the process fails to reflect the aspirations of the people then democracy is futile," remarked Dr Moily adding that electoral reforms would go a long way in eradicating corruption.

On the other hand, referring to the issue of D Voters in the State, Dr Moily said that it was a serious matter and the authorities concerned like the foreigners tribunals should settle the matter by giving their verdict without delay.

It needs to be mentioned here that the Committee on Electoral Reforms will recommend to the government concrete ways of strengthening the electoral system. It has taken into account the opinion of political leaders, government officials, legal experts, non-government organisations, scholars, journalists and other stakeholders. It has held a series of regional consultations since September last year to garner the opinion of the stakeholders on the issue of electoral reforms before developing a legislative proposal.

The press conference was also attended by Dr SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) who said that the regional consultations were hugely successful as different aspects like criminalisation of politics, funding of elections, conduct and better management of elections, regulation of political parties, audit and finances of political parties, review of anti defection law etc., were debated. Responding to a query on EVM tampering, he said that EVM with verifiable paper trail has been developed and will be tested in 200 places across the country under extreme weather conditions in the next one and a half months.

Earlier in the day, while addressing the regional consultation, Dr Moily had emphasized creating mass awareness on the issue of electoral reforms so that all groups got space to voice their expectations.

Some of the participants voicing their opinion had pointed out that there should be amendment in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to check the proliferation of political parties by regulating registration and de-registration of political parties. Other points that were deliberated upon revolved on the use of EVM and whether it would be better to go back to use of ballot papers instead, anomalies in the preparation of the Voters List, the reluctance of the elite to exercise their franchise etc.

Another important suggestion at the consultation was the enforcement of disclosure of assets of public representatives at the beginning and end of their term to curb corruption.

Election Commissioner HS Brahma in his address said that ethnic divide was an area of concern in the State. The other participants included Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Tanka Bahadur Rai, Minister of Law, Government of Assam and others.

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Poll reforms proposal by Dec: Moily

GUWAHATI, June 12 � The Committee on Electoral Reforms constituted by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India will complete the preparation of a legislative proposal on electoral reforms by December this year.

This was announced by Union Minister for Law and Justice Dr M Veerappa Moily here today.

Addressing mediapersons after participating in the �Regional Consultation on Electoral Reforms� organised by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and the Election Commission of India, Dr Moily said that the need of the time was comprehensive electoral reforms to fulfil the constitutional aspirations of the people.

"The elections are the hallmark of our democracy and if the process fails to reflect the aspirations of the people then democracy is futile," remarked Dr Moily adding that electoral reforms would go a long way in eradicating corruption.

On the other hand, referring to the issue of D Voters in the State, Dr Moily said that it was a serious matter and the authorities concerned like the foreigners tribunals should settle the matter by giving their verdict without delay.

It needs to be mentioned here that the Committee on Electoral Reforms will recommend to the government concrete ways of strengthening the electoral system. It has taken into account the opinion of political leaders, government officials, legal experts, non-government organisations, scholars, journalists and other stakeholders. It has held a series of regional consultations since September last year to garner the opinion of the stakeholders on the issue of electoral reforms before developing a legislative proposal.

The press conference was also attended by Dr SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) who said that the regional consultations were hugely successful as different aspects like criminalisation of politics, funding of elections, conduct and better management of elections, regulation of political parties, audit and finances of political parties, review of anti defection law etc., were debated. Responding to a query on EVM tampering, he said that EVM with verifiable paper trail has been developed and will be tested in 200 places across the country under extreme weather conditions in the next one and a half months.

Earlier in the day, while addressing the regional consultation, Dr Moily had emphasized creating mass awareness on the issue of electoral reforms so that all groups got space to voice their expectations.

Some of the participants voicing their opinion had pointed out that there should be amendment in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to check the proliferation of political parties by regulating registration and de-registration of political parties. Other points that were deliberated upon revolved on the use of EVM and whether it would be better to go back to use of ballot papers instead, anomalies in the preparation of the Voters List, the reluctance of the elite to exercise their franchise etc.

Another important suggestion at the consultation was the enforcement of disclosure of assets of public representatives at the beginning and end of their term to curb corruption.

Election Commissioner HS Brahma in his address said that ethnic divide was an area of concern in the State. The other participants included Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Tanka Bahadur Rai, Minister of Law, Government of Assam and others.