In News: The EC sent six key proposals to the Law Ministry
- Linking of Aadhaar with voter IDs
- Allowing four qualifying dates for eligible people to register as voters
- Ban on exit polls and opinion polls and said there should be some restriction on conducting and disseminating the results of opinion polls right from the day of the first notification of an election till the completion of the election in all its phases
- Also recommended limiting the seats from which a candidate can contest to just one
- The EC has also sought powers to deregister political parties
- EC has sought the modification of Form 24A to mandate the disclosure of all donations above Rs 2,000 instead of Rs 20,000
Linking Aadhaar with voter IDs
- In December 2021, Parliament passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 enabling “the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem”
- As of now, for an election to be held in a particular year, only an individual who has attained the age of 18 years as on January 1 of that year or before is eligible to be enrolled in the voters’ list.
- The ECI had told the government that the January 1 cut-off date set for the purpose deprives several youngsters from participating in the electoral exercise held in a particular year.
What are exit & opinion polls?
- An opinion poll is a pre-election survey to gather voters’ views on a range of election-related issues.
- An exit poll is conducted immediately after people have voted, and assesses the support for political parties and their candidates.
Why is the Election Commission (EC) against these polls?
- Both kinds of polls can be controversial if the agency conducting them is perceived to be biased.
- The projections of these surveys can be influenced by the choice, wording and timing of the questions, and by the nature of the sample drawn.
- Political parties often allege that many opinion and exit polls are motivated and sponsored by their rivals, and could have a distorting effect on the choices voters make in a protracted election, rather than simply reflecting public sentiment or views.
Number of Seats
- The EC has sought an amendment of Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to restrict the number of seats a candidate can contest from.
- The Act currently allows a person to contest a general election or a group of by-elections or biennial elections from up to two constituencies.
Registration and De registration
- Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowers the commission to register associations and bodies as political parties.
- However, there is no constitutional or statutory provision that gives power to the EC to deregister parties.
- Many political parties get registered, but never contest election. Such parties exist only on paper.
- The possibility of forming political parties with an eye on availing the benefit of income tax exemption also cannot be ruled out.
- It would only be logical that the commission which has the power to register political parties is also empowered to deregister in appropriate cases
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) With reference to the Union Government, consider the following statements: (2017)
- The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
- Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and by-elections.
- Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties.
Select the correct code:
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 3 only