Election Commission cannot deregister parties

New Delhi, Feb 5 (ANI): Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), SY Quraishi has said it does not have any power to deregister political parties that are 'redundant' or were 'bogus' in the first place.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Friday, Quraishi said: "Our power at the Election Commission (is) to register political parties but strangely we have no power to de-register them. There are 1200 political parties but now only 160, 170 are active. Others are either redundant or they were bogus in the first place. We did a test check of few of them and found out they were not working."

He further said the biggest dent in the image of democracy is to put up candidates with criminal records.

"Political parties themselves, instead of being in a competition to give a ticket to a criminal, should themselves take the lead and not put up such candidates. I think that will be the healthier thing to do. Second problem, of course, is money control. Money is playing a lot of role in elections. Figures given are ten times, 50 times, 100 times higher than allowed expenditure. And presumption now is that it is becoming the basis of corruption in the country," he said.

Referring to the northeastern state of Mizoram, Quraishi said the state has set precedence for free and fair polls.

"The spirit of 48 hour ban is that people should get time to reflect and in peace they should be able to decide who to vote for. They should be free from this door-to-door opportunity where money changes hands. I must mention that in Mizoram, we came across a very interesting example where about 30-40 church organisations have come together and have imposed this discipline on themselves and also told political parties. They don't allow door to door," he said. (ANI)

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