DMK welcomes move to make bribery in polls cognisable offence
Chennai: DMK today welcomed NDA Government'sproposal to make bribery during elections a cognisable offence but expressed reservations over empowering police to arrest violators without warrant.
"I generally welcome the amendments on behalf of DMK. However, the phrases seeming to give excess powers to police create doubt," DMK President M Karunanidhi said. The Home Ministry has recently conveyed to the Election Commission that it has initiated the process to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and a note has been sent to law officers to prepare the draft amendment bill in this regard.
Karunanidhi said ruling party generally offers cash and kind to voters during all types of elections and the Election Commission's efforts to curb this had not succeeded. He said that it was a "practical reality" that police were a 'puppet' of the ruling party and people had 'just doubts' if police would act against them in such cases.
"Even if someone comes forward to act, will the ruling party and higher officials allow that without any interference. The Central government should consider such issues and consult
all-party leaders before enacting amendments," he said.
Recalling his earlier demand for Proportional Representation, which he said was being favoured by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh in the context of poll expenses, he said Centre should take a serious view of this also.
Referring to the ceiling on election expenditure set by Election Commission for those fighting elections, Lyngdoh had said that it had become a farce as candidates spend much more than the prescribed limit.