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BJP brainstorms over electoral reforms

June 26, 2013 20:31 IST

State funding of polls to curb use of black money, EVMs which provide a paper trail, checking paid news, speedy trial in cases against politicians to bar criminals from contesting are some electoral reforms that Bharatiya Janata Party is set to suggest to the Election Commission.

In a three-hour meeting chaired by L K Advani on Wednesday, senior leaders of the main Opposition brain-stormed over the electoral reforms that should be made to make the Indian political system more transparent and accountable.

The Law Commission has prepared a consultation paper on the issue of electoral reforms and invited suggestions from political parties and others on the issue.

Of foremost concern to the BJP has been the use of black money in elections. The issue has been flagged time and again by Advani himself. The party feels state funding of elections can contribute immensely in dealing with this menace.

"EVMs should be made tamper proof and a paper trail should be made a must so that the voter is ensured that his vote has been cast," said BJP general secretary Thawar Chand Gehlot, who was a part of the meeting.

The party also discussed how to deal with paid news as well as funding of political parties. "There should be transparency about the source of the funding," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI.

Other suggestions from the BJP include preventing misuse of government machinery by the ruling party, holding assembly polls in as many states as possible along with Lok Sabha elections, giving the authority of disqualifying erring MPs to the Election Commission instead of the Speaker to speed up the process.

BJP leaders feel there should be more inner democracy in political parties and they should hold organisational elections, from the block levels up to the top, to fill these posts.

"Political parties should also be encouraged to formulate their own model code of conduct to improve their functioning," Naqvi said.

BJP is likely to hold another round of discussions to finalise its suggestions and submit them to the commission before the June 30 deadline.

Image: The three-hour-long meeting was chaired by senior leader L K Advani

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