Comprehensive consultations with stakeholders must for electoral reforms: Rijiju
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New Delhi: Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said comprehensive consultations with stakeholders, including political parties, are essential for implementing electoral reforms.

Referring to various proposals on electoral reforms moved by the Election Commission, he said consultations and discussions are a “symbol” of a vibrant democracy.

He said the changes made in election laws a year ago have resulted in the addition of over 1.5 crore new voters to the electoral list. Four cut-off dates instead of the one earlier have helped young eligible citizens to register as voters once they turn 18, he said.

The minister also lauded the move to allow those above 17 years of age to register with the EC in advance. Once they turn 18, their names are added to the voters’ list.

Addressing the 13th National Voters’ Day event here in the presence of President Droupadi Murmu, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, companion Election Commissioners and representatives of various political parties, Rijiju recalled the role of various unsung heroes who have not been awarded but have made sacrifices while helping hold free and fair polls.

On the issue of electoral reforms, he said he is in constant touch with the EC and had been holding a meeting with officials of the poll panel on the issue.

The Legislative Department in the Union law ministry is the nodal agency for issues related to the EC, including election laws and related rules.

He said various EC proposals related to poll reforms are with the government. The convention is to consult political parties and at times seek the views of ordinary citizens before moving ahead with such reform proposals.

“It is a symbol of a vibrant democracy to move forward only after consultations and discussions,” he noted.

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