Advertising criminal records of politicians will help voters make informed choices

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Friday supported the decision of the Supreme Court, directing political parties to advertise the criminal records of the candidates contesting elections on their ticket.

In an interview to ANI, Rawat said that the entire idea is to give voters an informed choice, as they should be well aware of the people they are electing as their representatives.

“The idea is to give voters an informed choice. People should know about the candidates they are choosing. The commission is mulling over the implementation of the direction passed by the Supreme Court. As soon as it will be ready we will bring it to the public domain,” the CEC said.

Speaking further on the recent direction of the apex court to retain the publicity gained by the Election Commission, when it was headed by TN Seshan, in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh polls, Rawat said the poll body will “live up to the expectation of the court.”
In the wake of the forthcoming general elections in 2019, the CEO’s of all the 24 states not going to polls will meet in Delhi on October 4 and 5 to attend a two-day conference ahead of the preparations to be made for the Lok Sabha polls.

The apex court on Tuesday refused to disqualify candidates facing criminal charges from contesting elections and asked the Parliament to enact a law instead.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of candidates with criminal cases pending against them from contesting polls, said that the Parliament must ensure that people with serious criminal charges do not enter politics.

The apex court further said that candidates and political leaders with criminal cases pending against them have to inform their respective political parties about their criminal records. It also asked the political parties to display the criminal records of its leaders on their websites.