Naqvi bats for ‘one nation, one voter list’ as essential electoral reform

LUCKNOW: Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday batted for the ‘one nation, one voter list’, saying that there is a need for paramount and path-breaking reforms in the electoral process of the country.

The former minority affairs minister was addressing a conference at an event organised here to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

“Different voter lists for elections to Panchayat, Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Vidhan Sabha, Lok Sabha and other elections not only create confusion but also raise questions on the credibility of the voter lists. ‘one nation, one voter list’ and ‘one nation, one voter card’ can help to solve this problem,” he said.

Naqvi said many significant electoral reforms took place in the year 2000 during the tenure of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee including the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), ban on contesting from more than two places, limit on election expenditure and putting curb on criminalisation in the politics.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also initiated various crucial reforms in the electoral process. The Modi Government has brought ‘electoral bonds’ to curb the use of black money by political parties, candidates in elections and to ensure financial transparency in the electoral process,” he said.

“The other electoral reforms introduced by Modi also include easy and accessible procedures for voters, expansion of voter ID cards, legal restrictions on money and muscle power, formulating guidelines for non-serious candidates and political parties and the appeal for ‘one nation, one election’,” the BJP leader added.

He called Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay an “institution of political purity and probity”, terming his principle and ideology an essential and effective lesson for electoral reforms.

Cautioning the people about money and muscle power in electoral politics, the leader said Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Ji had said “vote for a person, not for his purse; vote for a party, not for a person; vote for ideology, not for a party”.

Deendayal Ji had also cautioned against opportunism which has nowadays become a “prevailing political practice”, he said.

Naqvi said elections are a festival of democracy, adding that people’s faith and enthusiasm towards elections strengthen democratic values in India, the largest democracy of the world. (PTI)

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