Harish Jharia

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08 March 2012

Election Reforms Required In India: Incomplete Electoral Rolls, Criminal Contestants

© Harish Jharia 

With the horrific debacle of Congress party in the 2012 state elections, political parties are talking about Midterm general elections. Nevertheless the government and the Election Commission of India should try to understand the big black-holes in election commission’s rules and regulations for the candidates and the electorates. 

The following are the problems that may have to be addressed by the Election Commission of India and the Government of India based on the existing provisions in the constitution or else by bringing amendments to the Constitution of India if required: 

For Voters’ List / Electoral Roll:
  1. Election commission of India (ECI) may ensure that properly formatted Voter Lists of     all the constituencies across the country are prepared before conducting next election
  2. ECI should ensure that name of each and every citizen of India should be brought on the Voters’ List / Electoral Roll in the respective constituency 
  3. Adequate time and opportunity should be given to the voters to check well-before the election that their name are registered on the Voters’ List / Electoral Rolls
  4. Additional time should be provided to the voters to include their names if they are left out 
  5. The Official site of ECI should have online registration of voters in the voters’ list in addition to the ongoing system 
For Contesting Candidates:
  1. Candidates should be permitted to contest election from only one constituency at a time in one election
  2. Candidates already languishing in jails should not be permitted to contest elections 
  3. Candidates against whom criminal cases are pending in courts should not be permitted to contest elections
  4. Candidates who have served one or more jail sentences for terrorist, criminal, corruption, anti-social or anti-national charges should not be permitted to contest in elections

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