Mayawati, CEC differ over candidates with criminal background

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Lucknow, Jan 30 (PTI) UP Chief Minister Mayawati todaycountered Chief Election Commissoner S Y Quraishi''s view thatcandidates with criminal background should be barred fromcontesting, saying nobody should be prevented from becoming acandidate without conviction as such a provision in law couldbe misused.

She also expressed opposition to the idea of Quraishithat state funding of elections is "dangerous" and said, "Allgovernment expenses should be borne by the Centre and it willlead to free and fair elections and also preventcriminalisation of politics".

The chief minister said, "I am of the view that withoutconviction (by a court) no one should be barred fromcontesting polls as the provision can be misused. Beforeenacting such a provision, it should be kept in mind that itcould be misused," Mayawati said while addressing a seminar on''Regional Consultation for Electoral Reforms'' here.

While, Quraishi said that he is in favour of debarringcandidates from contesting polls against whom charges havebeen framed.

"After a person is imprisoned his rights of movement,freedom and earning is not allowed. Why can''t we then barcriminals for contesting elections, which is not even afundamental right", Quraishi said.

Terming idea of state funding of elections as"dangerous", the CEC said it would lead government expenditurewhile at the same time there will be spending of illegal moneyin elections.

Mayawati, however, favoured the idea of state fundingsaying, "All government expenses should be borne by theCentre and it will lead to free and fair elections and alsoprevent criminalisation of politics".

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