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Anna Hazare says no statutory status for Election Commissioner, calls for 'right to reject'

New Delhi, Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Veteran social activist Anna Hazare and his team on Thursday demanded that 'right to reject' option be included in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and that two Election Commissioners be given constitutional status like the Chief Election Commissioner.


Team Anna met the Chief Election Commissioner, S Y Qureshi, here today, and voiced its support for barring candidates against whom a court has framed charges, from contesting elections.


Hazare after the meeting told the media here that 'right to reject' was very important, and emphasized that it would help in cleansing the electoral scenario.


When asked to comment on reports about government plans to take the power from the Commission to oversee implementation of Model Code of Conduct, Hazare said: "This is wrong. The Election Commission is an independent body. The government should not have any hold on the body. If there is interference, then the body will lose it power. If the government does so, then there is no point in talking about independence of the Election Commission."


Hazare further said the two Election Commissioners should also be given the same status.


"Now only the CEC enjoys constitutional status. He cannot be removed at the whims and fancies of the government. The other two do not have this status. They should also get it," he said.


Hazare further said right to reject should be brought in before the next Lok Sabha elections.


Meanwhile, former IPS officer and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said there was no need for bringing the right to reject issue in Parliament, as it just need an amendment in rules.


"The matter is pending with the Law Ministry since 2001. What is needed is a rule amendment. It just needs a notification," she said.


eam Anna members Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal were also present in today's meeting. (ANI)


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