NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Upadhyay recently submitted a 21-page petition to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and his deputies Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra urging them to use their plenary powers under Article 324 to replace party symbols on voting machines and ballot papers with candidate details.
Candidate details can include their names, photograph, age and educational qualifications, he said, adding it is essential for “free and fair elections”.
Mr Upadhyay’s petition says most candidates these days think of “self first, party next, people last”.
“One of the main reasons for this attitude of candidates is the contesting of elections on political party symbols and not on their individual competence and dedication to their voters,” the BJP leader said.
Electoral symbols on Electronic Voting Machines and ballot papers encourage corruption, criminalisation, casteism, communalism and nepotism, he added. He claims that replacing these with candidate details will end “dictatorial practices by political party bosses in ticket distribution”.
The contention is a sweeping indictment of political party chiefs, including those of the BJP.
The BJP leader also argues that if accepted, his suggestions can stop “parachuting of candidates”.
Mr Upadhyay’s plea that presses for cleaning up the electoral system cites the poll bodies’ Proposed Electoral Reforms of 2004 and Vohra Committee Report among other reports for this.
He also said that the use of party symbols on ballot and EVM, “breaches the right guaranteed under Articles 325-326 read with Article 14 of the Constitution.”
source By NDTV