BANGALORE: Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Sunday categorically pointed out the civil society movements, including the one spearheaded by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, will do ‚Äúbad than good as they send a message that the entire country is rotten.‚ÄĚ
However, he quickly added, ‚ÄúNot that everything is bad. There are many good things happening in the country. While our country is almost counted as an economic power, the blanket condemnation is not good.‚ÄĚ
He also pointed out that a national consultation, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on electoral reforms is pending. ‚ÄúIt was initially scheduled to be held on April 2 last year. It was postponed to June, which was again put off indefinitely due to the Anna Hazare movement,‚ÄĚ he observed.
Participating in a discussion on ‚ÄėElectoral Reforms in India‚Äô organised by Bangalore International Centre on Sunday, Quraishi said, ‚ÄúNow that each house in the country has three to four graduates, we need to ensure that more professionals, like doctors and engineers from different fields, enter the Legislative Council,‚ÄĚ he felt.
He also expressed concern over elite class not stepping out of their houses to vote in elections in large numbers. ‚ÄúThe government is spending Rs 1200 crore per election which works out around Rs 16 per voter. Such being the case, people should come out and vote instead of complaining about politicians,‚ÄĚ he explained.
‚ÄúThe fashion statement of mentioning ‚ÄėAll politicians are thieves. So I will not vote‚Äô should be changed,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúOne cannot just love the democracy and hate politicians,‚ÄĚ he remarked.
He also lamented that a bill, tabled in the Budget session aimed at amending the Representation of People‚Äôs Act, was not amended.
Quraishi also pointed out that the Election Commission is in favour of giving the option to the voter by giving ‚Äúnone of the above‚ÄĚ button in case people do not want to vote for any candidate in an election.