NEW DELHI: BJP leader LK Advani on Sunday praised the Election Commission's "landmark" decision to cancel Jharkhand Rajya Sabha polls and said the move would go a long way in preventing moneybags with no political support from jumping into poll fray.
Advani also sough to refocus on an NDA amendment in The Representation of the People Act in 2003 to make Rajya Sabha poll more open and said the EC decision together with its amendment would ensure that money power would no longer matter in polling to the Council of States.
"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 SY Quraishi for scrapping this year's Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand.
He said, "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."
The BJP leader also cited electoral reforms and clean elections in Britain where Parliament seats "were once sold" and said "history of electoral reforms in Britain should help dispel the general cynicism prevalent in India that there is no real remedy for the growing influence of money power in elections".
Advani's compliments to EC come despite Jharkhand BJP's criticism of the poll body questioning it for being "overactive this time". BJP's Jharkhand affairs in-charge, Harendra Pratap Singh had said that EC "should not work under pressure from the Congress".
"EC is overactive this time. Where was it on previous occasions when there was horse-trading by independents to get into the upper house?" Singh said in Ranchi on Saturday.