50 pc votes must for winning legislative bodies: CEC

 
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Tiruchirapalli, Mar 30: It is time for the Centre to consider making it mandatory for the candidates, contesting the elections, to secure more than 50 per cent vote to get elected to the Legislative bodies, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami has said.

Addressing the Tamil Nadu Consumer Protection Council members here last night, he said ''with the polity getting fragmented, it was possible for a candidate to win an election by securing just about 30 per cent of the votes polled. It was unfortunate that such things are happening in quite a few places,'' he added.

He also pointed out that analysis of election results in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had revealed that a large number of winning candidates got less than 50 per cent votes. Only in a few states like Kerala, West Bengal and Gujarat, more candidates were getting elected by securing over 50 per cent votes, he added.

To a question, he said 'proportional representation system' would lead to further fragmentation of the polity. He also felt that it would not be feasible to make voting compulsory in the country. Though it was compulsory in 33 countries in the world, only a few enforce the law. Adopting transferable voting system too would be difficult, he added.

Mr Gopalaswami also maintained that the country's democracy would not improve unless the people evince interest in elections and vote in large numbers. Citizens should be alert and demand efficient governance. The Right to Information (RTI) Act could be used as an effective tool to monitor the performance of the Legislators, he said.

Explaining the steps taken by the CEC for making elections fair and free, Mr Gopalaswami said the Commission had started analysing the voting pattern of the previous elections in all polling stations to check rigging by posting adequate forces. It had also identified sensitive polling stations. The electoral rolls were compared with the available population figures and the projected population, to avoid any discrepancy.

Data with respect to male-female ratio and age groups were also thoroughly checked, he added.

UNI

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