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Right to reject, recall may not work in India: CEC

Right to reject, recall may not work in India: CEC
October 16, 2011

Amid a campaign by Team Anna for polls reforms, the Election Commission has disfavoured any proposal to include the 'Right to Reject' or 'Right to Recall' clauses in election rules, saying they may not work in a large country like India. Opposing the proposal to have a 'Right to Recall' as in many developed countries, Chief Election Commission Mr SY Quraishi has held that it will “destabilise” the country, especially in areas where “people already feel alienated”.

On the proposal of introducing a clause on Right to Reject, Mr Quraishi said even though the EC 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. 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 and people already complain of election fatigue,” Mr Quraishi told Karan Thapar in Devil's advocate programme to be aired on CNN-IBN later today evening. The CEC, is however, open to discussion with activist Anna Hazare who has suggested that if all candidates spending crores in elections are rejected by the voters, it will discourage them from overspending and would control election expenditure. “We have an open mind on this. If a proposal leads to that larger good, then we must consider it. I would like to discuss this interesting point and see what are its implications,” said Mr Quraishi, disclosing that he has scheduled a meeting with Mr Hazare later this month on the issue.source:PTI