Ex-Election Commissioner wants provision for neutral voting

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) Former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon today advocated inserting of a provision for 'neutral voting' while criticising the Indian laws for being ''inadequate'' to prevent the criminalisation of politics and goofing up the election process.

Speaking to mediapersons amid the ongoing poll process for five state assemblies, Mr Tandon said, "Why a voter should be forced to choose one from 10-12 odd candidates when he or she does not wish to vote for any one of them in the fray". In absence of such provision, many voters, particularly the educated people, asbtain from voting bringing down the poll precentage even below 50.

It is a matter of serious concern that this trend is picking up which ultimately reduces the election excercise to a farce, said Mr Tandon while speaking at a function organised here by a Delhi-based civil society 'Exercise Franchise for Good Governance' (EFGG).

He deplored how the election could be in order when most of voters were without Photo-Identity cards.

Elaborating further, he said, the declining voting percentage severely restricts the ability of elections to reflect national preferences thus ultimately, has policy implications on agenda setting.

Mr Tandon urged the citizens to show the way by taking a vow to vote. He also congratulated Delhi Chief Election Officer (CEO) Dr Satbir Silas Bedi for " Pappu Campaign "for taking all possible efforts to reduce the cost of voting through home delivery of EPIC cards".

"The ultimate aim of the EFGG is to influence policy making through representative and legitimate governments", said Mr Rattan Lal who represents the civil society.

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