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Government mulls ordinance to keep political parties out of Election Commission ambit

29, Jun 2013 By Mishtik Journo

New Delhi. Worried by an Election Commission ruling that restricts expenditure by a candidate contesting elections to Rs 40 lakhs, the government has reached a consensus with all parties and is drafting an ordinance to keep political parties out of the ambit of Election Commission.

After this new law, the code of conduct for political parties shall be regulated by a new body to be named as All Party NAtional Election Commission (Apna EC). Office bearers of Apna EC shall be picked from various political parties and it will function independent of Election Commission.

Bundles of notes
Fighting elections with small change now not possible

A consensus is developing on the name of Gopinath Munde as the first Chief Apna Election Commissioner – CAEC.

“The first orders to be passed by me shall be the removal of any ceiling on the expenditure made by a candidate during elections. Instead a minimum floor amount of Rs 2 crores shall have to be spent by the candidate to avoid disqualification,” Munde said

“Anyone spending less than two crore rupees is stooping too low,” commented Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress party, “This is in line with meeting minimum standards such as not recognizing a scam of mere 71 lakhs rupees as any scam.”

Bhola Ram Yadav, another likely nominee member to Apna EC from the Samajwadi quota, commented on the election reforms, “All contesting candidates must have at least two criminal cases pending against them where conviction has taken place. This will establish the bona fide’ of the candidate for having the necessary administrative and organizational skills to be part of an effective government.”

“Currency notes of Rs 5000 and 20000 denominations are a must to eliminate logistics problems faced by parties during the election process,” a DMK member is likely to put up this demand as soon as Apna EC is in place after the ordinance.

P Chidambaram’s proposal to bring in election funding through the FII (Foreign Institutional Investors) route will also have smooth sailing once Apna EC is in place. This will also bring in the much needed foreign exchange to support the falling rupee.

Congress leader V Narayanasamy said, “When the time comes to bring transparency in their own functioning, all the political parties are game for it. It is only the Election Commissions rules which were a deterrent. Now with new rules framed by Apna EC and the Right to Information amended, most parties will be fully compliant in next one year.”