BJP leader moves SC, seeks removal of party symbols from ballots, EVMs

44 per cent increase in the number of Lok Sabha MPs with declared criminal cases since 2009

BJP leader moves SC, seeks removal of party symbols from ballots, EVMs

The Supreme Court of India. File Photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30

A Delhi BJP leader has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to remove symbols from ballot and EVMs and replace it with 'name, age, educational qualification and photograph' of candidates, contending it would end corruption and criminalisation in politics in India.

BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay – who has filed several PILs for electoral reforms and de-criminalisation of politics – urged the top court to declare the use of party symbols on EVMs illegal, unconstitutional and violative of the Constitution.

He said the best solution to weed corruption and criminalisation in politics was to replace political party symbols on ballot papers and EVMs with name, age, educational qualification and photograph of the candidates.

Ballots and EVMs without political party symbol will help electors to vote and support intelligent, diligent and honest candidates; check dictatorship of political party bosses in ticket distribution; and force them to give tickets to those religiously working for “people's welfare,” Upadhyay contended.

Citing an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, the petitioner pointed out that out of 539 MPs, 233 MPs were facing criminal cases.

“Out of 542 winners analysed after 2014 election, 185 had declared criminal cases against themselves and out of 543 winners analysed after 2009 Lok Sabha election, 162 had declared criminal cases against themselves. There is an increase of 44 per cent in the number of Lok Sabha MPs with declared criminal cases against themselves since 2009, and the root cause of this bizarre situation is the use of political party symbols on ballot paper and EVM,” the petitioner submitted.

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