Anna's Suggestion for Recall of MPs Impractical: CEC

New Delhi
Anna's Suggestion for Recall of MPs Impractical: CEC
Terming as "impractical" Anna Hazare's suggestion for right to recall an elected MP, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi today said such a move will lead to "destabilising" the entire system.

"Right to recall in a big country like ours is impractical. It is not easy in a country where candidates are voted by lakhs of voters," he told reporters on the sidelines of the IIMC convocation function here.

He feared that if the right to recall is put in place, "elections will go on happening and the entire system will destabilise".

Quraishi felt the emphasis should be rather on cleansing the election system, barring criminals from contesting elections and encouraging more and more people to come out and vote for the best candidates.

He also did not favour a suggestion for the right to reject candidates in elections saying it is a "difficult task" to implement.

The CEC had earlier said the right of people to reject candidates required a "bit of debate" because a situation of majority of the people rejecting all candidates also has to be considered.

Asked about EC's preparation for the forthcoming elections in Gujarat, he said it has not yet come into their "radar" as polls in the western state are due only next year.

With exit polls already banned, the CEC also recommended banning opinion polls as they affected poll prospects of political parties.

 Talking about electoral reforms, the Chief Election Commissioner suggested a ban on Government advertisements appearing in dailies six months before election dates.

"We have a suspicion that this also could be a modus operandi of paid news. Few months before elections, full page Government ads comes in paper highlighting achievements. That is the misuse of Government funds. It is a political propaganda in the garb of activities of the department," he said.

Paid news is something to be very "embarrassed about" and media must be very "honest and truthful" in the context of elections because people trust it, he told the convocation.

"The silver lining, however, is that all political parties are adversely affected (by paid news) and feel something needs to be done about it," he said.

He said 95 per cent of the media is against this and professional journalists don't like it but "it is only some owners in some cases who sell their conscience which is playing havoc. We need to do something about it".

Quraishi also favoured a ban on door to door campaigning as that this is the time when "money and liquor change hands".
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