Misuse of caste rampant in polls: Seshan

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, MAY 30. The misuse of caste and ethnicity has become rampant in the elections as no State or national issue is left before the political parties, according to the former Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. T. N. Seshan.

Speaking on the `electoral law reforms', at a function organised by the All India Lawyers' Union (AILU), Kerala High Court committee, here today, Mr. Seshan identified ``money power, Minister power, muscle power'', caste, criminality and corruption as the key issues of Indian politics where reforms need be introduced.

The soaring election expenditure need be curbed immediately; otherwise none can win the elections without ``paying money under the table and use of caste and criminals'', he said.

Referring to the disqualification of the nominations filed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalitha, Mr. Seshan said that it was against the principles of law. The law states that the conviction will not stand when the appeal is pending and as her appeal was pending, Ms. Jaya was not ``disqualifiable'', he argued.

The functioning of political parties in the country is ``tragic'' as there is no internal freedom or democracy. No political party is filing the Income Tax returns or submitting its accounts for auditing. Many are also receiving funds from abroad, he said.

The voters' ID cards, introduced as per the original rules framed in 1952, were expected to curb large-scale impersonation. Requests for multipurpose ID cards, also usable as social security cards, have not materialised.

The former Advocate General Mr. M. K. Damodaran, the AILU secretary Mr. P. V. Hareendranath spoke.The AILU president Mr. Mathew Zachariah presided over the function.

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Source: http://www.the-hindu.com/stories/0431211j.htm
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 1, 2001
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