ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reform of Electoral System

Reform of Electoral System ALL the suggestions made by S R Sen in his article Electoral System: Urgency of Basic Reforms' (February 9) deserve to be implemented immediately. Otherwise the malpractices of the last general election will be multiplied in the next election, which will then be much more bloody. If the present parliament cannot do it, the president should do it through an ordinance. But even without a new law or ordinance, the Election Commission, under its own powers, can implement most of the suggestions regarding curbing of money power and muscle power, an interdependent joint electorate system and audit of accounts of registered political parties applying for specific party symbols. Some vested interests will no doubt oppose this. But with the new status that the Election Commission has been recently accorded by law, it should not hesitate to counter these vested interests, Of all the suggestions, that for an interdependent joint electorate is the most important. It would, however, be simpler to implement if, instead of putting the two most numerous castes or communities into two different groups as suggested by Sen, only one, the most numerous community (caste, religious denomination, race or language group whichever can be most easily identified) in a constituency, is given ballot papers of one colour and members of all the other communities are given ballot papers of a different colour and thereafter the procedure suggested by Sen is followed. In addition, identity photographs for voters and/or mobile polling booths should be provided in constituen cies where serious malpractices may be apprehended by the Election Commission.

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