EC delists over 1,000 inactive parties in 2 years

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Kolkata, June 2 (IANS) The Election Commission of India has delisted more than 1,000 political parties in the last two years for being inactive for a long period and not taking part in the election process.

“The Supreme Court held that the Election Commission cannot de-register political parties. However, the EC has started a process of delisting those political parties which are totally inactive or not taking part in election process,” Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat said here.

“In the last two years, more than 1,000 political parties have been delisted. The process is going on,” Rawat added.

He said the laws do not provide “any power” to the EC to “de-register any political parties”.

On the issue of criminalisation of politics, the Election Commissioner said the panel is “serious” to decriminalise politics.

Referring to the incident of data harvesting by Cambridge Analytica from various social media platforms for profiling the behaviour of the voters, formulating targeted communications so as to make voters vote in a manner which is desirable for their clients, he said the Commission is “working on this issue”.

“The Commission has set up a social media hub… We are working on the issue. The Commission is also working for a code of conduct for all social media platforms so that we can prevent data harvesting,” he said, adding that the threat is “huge”.

Rawat said the Commission’s actions against the direct distribution of money and freebies in the elections have been effective.

“In Tamil Nadu (election), cash and freebies worth Rs 700 crore was seized and in recently concluded Karnataka elections, the EC seized Rs 180 crore worth of cash and freebies,” he said.

–IANS

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