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Any change to the voting process needs to be talked about with the parties and other interested parties: Kiren Rijiju

The Election Commission (EC) has “many” proposals “pending” with the government. On Wednesday, Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said that any step toward electoral reform should be taken after extensive consultation with all stakeholders, including political parties.

Most political parties have been critical of the poll panel’s plan to let domestic migrants vote by mail. This is why Rijiju made his comments.

The EC had asked political parties to meet on January 16 to talk and see a prototype of the Remote Voting Machine. But the presentation was put off because almost everyone asked for more time to talk about the subject.

At the EC’s celebration of the 13th National Voters’ Day in Delhi on Wednesday, Rijiju said, “At the moment, we have many proposals pending, but I think we should only move forward with any electoral reform after a lot of discussions. We usually talk with political parties, and sometimes we even take suggestions from the general public. We also talk with the government all the time. This shows that democracy is alive and well. Before taking any step, people should talk about it.”

At the event, the three members of the EC and President Droupadi Murmu also spoke.


Panel’s push for reforms

Over the years, the Election Commission has tried to clean up the voting process by pushing for several poll reforms. One of the things that have been asked for a long time is that the Commission be given the power to take political parties off the register. Newer ideas from the EC that are still being discussed with the government include letting NRIs vote by mail and making parties report all donations over Rs 2,000 instead of the current limit of Rs 20,000. The EC has also suggested limiting cash donations to a party to no more than 20% of the total, or Rs 20 crore.

In her speech, President Murmu said that the voting process had made it possible for the country to go through a social revolution over the past seven decades. She said that more women are voting, and she pointed out that after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the number of women in both houses of Parliament had passed 100.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that Rijiju was holding “marathon meetings” about the EC’s plan to change things. “I’m sure that in the future, we’ll see a whole bunch of changes,” he said.

Rijiju spoke at the event and talked about some of Parliament’s changes. For example, the date that people turn 18 has been changed from January 1 to four other dates each year. He said this meant that 1.5 crore new voters had been added to the list since the law was enacted in 2022.

The minister said that the government would always work with the election commission to “make all the positive changes that are needed at the right time.” He also said that he was in regular contact with EC officers.

Rijiju said that free and fair elections can only happen if the EC has the power to do its job, is independent, and has the trust of the people. He also said that the fact that political parties trust the Commission is a big reason why India’s democracy is so strong.

Anup Chandra Pandey, an Election Commissioner, said that 46 crores of India’s 94 crore voters are women. In his welcome speech, Election Commissioner Arun Goel said that India’s democracy goes back to the sixth century BCE.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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