NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi has accused political parties and candidates of being dishonest about their election expenses. Electoral reforms have not been pushed enough, the poll panel chief declared. In an interview with news channel IBN7, he said: “If somebody comes to power by spending Rs 2 or 4 crore, from the first day itself he will look for ways to make money.” A national debate is needed on the rationalisation of election expenses, Quraishi said. Lauding his predecessors for their independence, the poll panel chief agreed that the process of appointing the CEC should also include the Leader of the Opposition to convey neutrality.
Reforms have been stalled on many fronts, and “need a push”, said Quraishi. Many registered political parties use elections for money laundering with bogus candidates who buy jewellery and other assets with declared expenditure. Quraishi says that if the EC has the right to register political parties, it should also be able to deregister. “Derecognising is in our hands, but the rules regarding it are regarding performance in the election... But in powers of deregistration, it will be said that you had formed a party with a purpose and taken an oath, if you violated it, then you would have to be de registered,” the CEC elaborated.