Candidates to presidents' office must also file affidavits

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 30 Desember 2012 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The National Election Watch which has been at the forefront of organizations demanding electoral reforms in India on Sunday put forth a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) stating that candidates who contest for the offices of President and Vice-President should be made to file sworn affidavits on the lines of those made mandatory for elected reprentatives.

The step could go a long way in bringing about transparency from the top. "The office of the President is one of the most important positions in our country and is right now the only elections to a public office where the candidates are not required to submit self sworn affidavits on their background details at the time of filing their nominations," stated a release issued by the National Election Watch urging the ECI to take the lead and issue appropriate orders for its implementation.

The idea has received the support of two former election commissioners Gopalaswami N and T S Krishnamurthy. It has also been endorsed by various prominent citizens associated with the NEW including economist Ajit Ranade, IIM professor Trilochan Sastry and right to information activist Nikhil Dey.

A similar mechanism has already been initiated for electoral candidates contesting Parliament or Legislative Assembly Elections requiring candidates to provide an affidavit with their background information on criminal records, assets, liabilities, education etc. Most states have also extended this procedure to local bodies such as panchayats and municipal elections.

Measures like this could go a long way in instilling public confidence in our offices of power.

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