Mumbai, October 26: Expressing the view that the State Election Commissions play significant role in conducting elections to local state governments, Maharashtra Governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao highlighted the strengthening of democracy at grassroots level. The governor claimed that the state government has called for a broad consensus among all political parties on not offering political tickets to candidates with criminal background.
The governor was speaking at the first International Conference of Election Commissioners and Election Conducting Authorities for local self-governments organised by the State Election Commission of Maharashtra in Mumbai on Thursday.
In this connection, the governor called for treating the State Election Commissions in various states on par with the Election Commission of India and providing them adequate funds, functions and functionaries.
Stating that the population of Maharashtra alone was greater than the combined population of Germany, Australia and New Zealand put together, Vidyasagar Rao said the task of Maharashtra State Election Commission is mammoth considering the fact that the Commission returns 250,000 local representatives every 5 years from approximately 28000 local self-governments.
Stating that quite often criminal record of candidates is ignored in the face of winnability of the candidate, the governor expressed the view that there should be broad-based consensus among political parties that persons with criminal background are not offered party tickets to contest elections. Mentioning that India is emerging as a youthful nation in the world.