M A I N   N E W S

Right to recall risky, says poll panel chief

New Delhi, October 16
Amid a demand by Team Anna for radical poll reforms, Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi said he was not in favour of ‘right to recall’ and ‘right to reject' for elected representatives, warning that any such electoral rule would "destabilise" the country.

HARD TALK: SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner
HARD TALK: SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner 

Opposing any move to have a right to recall as in many developed countries, Quraishi said it might not work in India given the size of the country.

“It is not possible in India. It will destabilise the country. Wherever there is discontent, people will start recalling," Quraishi said in an interview to a TV channel.

The inclusion of the right to reject during voting, said Quraishi, could be misused to put out an unintended political message, especially in places like Kashmir and the North-Eastern states where the people already feel alienated.

"We have to see the implication of everything for the country," he said.

He advocated introduction of 49-O button in EVMs instead. This would help voters express their unhappiness over the candidates, he said.

"Instead of a negative force of the right to reject, why don't you select a good candidate instead," he added.

On the proposal of introducing a clause on right to reject, Quraishi said even though the Election Commission has supported introduction of 49-O (rule) button in EVMs for voters to express their displeasure over candidates, the proposal will lead to more frequent elections. The 49-O rule of The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, describes the procedure to be followed when a valid voter decides not to cast his vote and decides to record this fact.

"Our main fear is that if we start rejecting all the candidates, we will have another election. But people already complain of election fatigue," he said. — PTI





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