EC to Govt:Limit seats a person can contest to 1, ban opinion & exit polls

Contact Counsellor

EC to Govt:Limit seats a person can contest to 1, ban opinion & exit polls

  • The Election Commissioner sent six key proposals to the Law Ministry.

Priority Areas to be reformed:

  • Linking of Aadhaar with voter IDs,
    • In December 2021, Rajya Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 by voice vote, enabling the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem as the Opposition walked out in protest.
    • Parties had alleged that the government passed the Bill in haste.
  • Allowing four qualifying dates for eligible people to register as voters,
  • also renewed the commission’s proposals for banning opinion polls and exit polls.
    • There should be some restriction on conducting and disseminating the results of opinion polls right from the day of the first notification of an election till the completion of the election in all its phases.
  • Sought powers to deregister political parties,
    • Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowers the commission to register associations and bodies as political parties.
    • However, there is no constitutional or statutory provision that gives power to the EC to deregister parties.
    • Many political parties get registered, but never contest elections.
    • The possibility of forming political parties with an eye on availing the benefit of income tax exemption also cannot be ruled out.
    • It would only be logical that the commission which has the power to register political parties is also empowered to deregister in appropriate cases.
  • Modification of Form 24A to mandate the disclosure of all donations above Rs 2,000 instead of Rs 20,000.
  • Sought an amendment of Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to restrict the number of seats a candidate can contest from.
    • In 2004, too, the EC had proposed an amendment of Section 33(7).
    • The Act currently allows a person to contest a general election or a group of by-elections or biennial elections from up to two constituencies.

Prelims Takeaway:

  • Representation of People Act, 1951
  • Election Commission of India