Election Commission demands more power to cancel election in case of voter bribery: Nasim Zaidi

By: | Published: March 5, 2017 12:26 PM

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said that despite of being rejected twice by the government, the Election Commission of India (ECI) continues to demand for the power to cancel an election in case of voter bribery.

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner. (PTI)

With election season in full swing in the country, Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said that despite of being rejected twice by the government, the Election Commission of India (ECI) continues to demand for the power to cancel an election in case of voter bribery. According to Indian Express Zaidi who is going to retire from his post in four months, said that the amount of cash and liquor seized from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa during the ongoing assembly elections have been over three fold the volumes that were seized from these states when they went to polls in 2012 last time.

Nasim Zaidi said that the government could have done more to give effect to pending electoral reforms. He also called for a separate provision in the Representation of the People (RP) Act to deal exclusively with hate speeches in election campaigns, and time-bound disposal of election petitions by courts.

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Zaidi on the unabated influence of black money in elections quoted some facts that included a major portion of the Rs 350 crore that was seized in cash. He said that in this year’s election they found more movement of cash and more distribution of liquor. In Uttar Pradesh alone, liquor worth Rs 60 crore was caught.

Zaidi said that any scheme that brings about a reduction in anonymity is welcome when asked about his agrrement on the criticism that electoral bonds would mask whatever little transparency that exists currently in political funding.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech on February 1 had announced introduction of electoral bonds, which a donor can purchase from authorised banks, but can only redeem through registered accounts of a political party. On this, he said, that it was aimed at protecting the identity of donors who fear adverse consequences for contributing to one political party.

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