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Bar criminals from contesting polls

Election Commission in its affidavit filed at Supreme Court has proposed that those accused of offences punishable with at least five years in jail should be barred from contesting elections after a court frames charges against them and if the case is registered at least six months prior to the election. Now a shocking report of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) reveals that as many as 11 out of total 31 state Chief Ministers in the country have criminal cases registered against them, it is desired that Central government may accept the recommendations instead of getting any direction from the Apex Court. Unfortunately, every poll-reform of this type comes only after the Supreme Court directions with no government of any alliance or party serious for purity in public life.

It is time that a consolidated move for eliminating wrong-doers from being poll-contestants. Defaulters of public-dues should be barred from contesting any next elections or holding any official post till all dues are cleared against them, and non-entitled government-accommodations are vacated. It is shameful that even persons posted on highly dignified post of Prime Minister are defaulters of dues for use of Indian Air Force (IAF) aircrafts for non-official purposes. Every post-retirement benefit including government-accommodation, pension, secretariat etc. should be snatched forever from former prime ministers in case of default at time of demitting the office. Even later payments may not provide such luxurious facilities back to them.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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