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ECI hopes its 24 proposals will be considered by Centre

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, May 16 (UNI) The Election Commission of India (ECI) today hoped that the Centre will soon consider its 24 proposals to bring about electoral reforms and reiterated its concern over the increasing criminalisation of politics in the country.

''The growing criminalisation of politics in the country is a matter of concern for the ECI and the state Election Commissioners,'' Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) B B Tandon told a news conference here.

He was here to attend the two-day fifth All India State Election Commissioners Conference here.

Mr Tandon said the ECI had submitted 24 proposals, including the one on criminalisation of politics, to the Centre.

''We had submitted a consolidated proposal to the Government in March 2004. We hope that all these proposals will soon find a concrete shape in the form of a legislation,'' he added.

Mr Tandon said the issue was discussed in depth at the two-day conference and some important decisions were taken to conduct all future elections in the country in a peaceful, free and fair manner.

It was decided that a common electoral roll will be put in use for parliamentary and local bodies polls, he said, adding the state Election Commissioners would share a database in this regard.

The CEC said there was a consensus that all future elections to the local bodies would be conducted by the state Election Commissioners and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be extensively used in the polls.

The ECI would loan 25 per cent of the required EVMs to the state Election Commissioners for the local bodies elections, he added.

''For the rest, the state Election Commissioners have to build up their own stock because the ECI may not be able to meet the complete requirement,'' Mr Tandon said.

He said some state Election Commissioners wanted modification in the EVMs for multiple voting and Maharashtra has taken a lead in this regard.

The CEC also said that there was a need to strike uniformity in allotting election symbols to political parties and individuals for parliamentary, assembly and local bodies polls.

UNI AG VD ND1534

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