Preventing the misuse of money to influence voters during elections is one of the biggest impediment to holding free and fair polls, the chief of India’s Election Commission said today.
Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, who is in Kathmandu on the invitation of his Nepali counterpart, Neel Kantha Upreti, shared his experience of conducting Indian elections at a programme organised by Indian Embassy and BP Koirala foundation, titled ‘Managing Indian Election: Sharing experience and prospectus for Co-operation’.
Tackling malpractices such as use of pecuniary influence on voters has proven to be a challenging job, the Indian official said. However, he said introduction of various laws and provisions putting a cap on political parties’ election expenses have helped mitigate the problem.
Quraishi recounted his experience of conducting the 2009 polls and how his commission did its bit to make the process inclusive, credible and use of technology to fight election fraud.
The commissioner said that use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) makes polling efficient and ruled out the possibility of invalid votes and said it helps save paper.
However, when machines are involved, people tend to have reservations, he said. The Election Commission of India has not found any fault with EVMs so far, Quraishi informed, adding that efforts are on to improve the technology and make it more credible.