'Right to recall, retirement age for leaders not practical'

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi
New Delhi, Apr 8: Right to recall elected representatives and fixing retirement age for them are "not practical solutions" to address issues related to performance of politicians, chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said here on Friday.

Addressing a function here, the CEC spoke in favour of reforms like auditing the accounts of political parties and ensuring that donations given to them are subject to checks but claimed there was resistance from political parties on these issues.

He said the biggest challenge for the Indian democracy is criminalisation of politics and black money.

"Criminals in politics and use of black money during elections are an embarrassment. Due to these two factors India is not able to become the greatest democracy in the world," he said.

"Two basic reforms for the political parties I think would be that their transactions be made by cheque and their accounts should be audit by independent accountants appointed by the Election Commission of India," Quraishi said.

He said that a discussion is needed to arrive at a conclusion on these issues as there is resistance from political parties on them.

On right to recall, he said, "It sounds good, but it not a practical idea. There are so many disgruntled people who can manipulate it. We all know how easy it to collect signatures against a particular candidate."

Quraishi said that the idea is not feasible as, "Political parties are facing elections after an interval of every two or so years. For example, Samajwadi Party would be gearing up to face the voters for Lok Sabha election in 2014 again, which is much before its five year term."

On fixing a retirement age for politicians, he said, "I think it is a little cynical attempt as only 10 to 12 per cent of youths use their votes. It has become fashionable to condemn politicians. You can not hate politicians and love democracy."


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