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EC deserves praise for its order, says Advani

Author: Express news service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: April 2, 2012
URL:  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ec-deserves-praise-for-its-order-says-advani/931316/0
Lauding the Election Commission’s decision to cancel the Rajya Sabha election in Jharkhand, senior BJP leader L K Advani on Sunday said the decision would go a long way in preventing moneybags with no political support from entering Parliament.

Advani also sought to give credit to the NDA decision of 2003 when an amendment in the Representation of People Act brought transparency into Rajya Sabha polls. The RS polls in Jharkhand was scrapped after the EC recovered Rs 2.15 crore allegedly from a vehicle belonging to the brother of Independent candidate R K Agarwal.

“I think the Election Commission deserves special compliments for the order it has issued,” Advani wrote on his blog on Sunday, while giving kudos to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi for the decision. “I hold that today’s decision of the Election Commissioner based on reasonably credible apprehensions is a landmark decision. Together with the NDA amendment of 2003, and today’s precedent, moneybags with no political support would think thousand times before jumping into the fray,” he said.

Advani’s compliments to EC came despite criticism of the poll body by the Jharkhand BJP questioning it for being “overactive this time”. BJP’s Jharkhand affairs in-charge Harendra Pratap Singh had said EC “should not work under pressure from the Congress”.

In his blog, Advani maintained that the concern about people with moneypower making their way into the Council of States by luring MLAs with cash had grown over the past few years. “Those concerned with the purity of elections have always felt distressed that affluent candidates who file their nominations for the Rajya Sabha without any evident support of the requisite number of MLAs to secure their victory often manage somehow to squeeze their way into the House or have a pawn elected by buying up MLAs,” he said.

He underscored that this was the first time in history of Indian elections in any state that polling to the Rajya Sabha has been halted midway by the Election Commission itself, even before the votes have been fully counted. “The swift action by EC ensured that the poll process was stopped in between as otherwise the issue would have gone out of the EC’s domain and would have to be rectified only through the court.”
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