The Hindu
A.M. Faruqui

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, along with L.C. Jain, former Member of the Planning Commission, releases the book “Lok Sabha Election Watch 2009” at the Sixth National Conference on Electoral & Political Reforms, organised by the Association for Democratic Reforms in Bhopal on Saturday.

Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla on Saturday expressed concern that roughly 700 out of 1,000 registered political parties do not contest polls but said the Election Commission has no power to de-register them.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 6th National Conference on Electoral Reforms organised by the National Election Watch here. “We don't have power to de-register them,” he said. The commission sent reform proposals to the Centre from time to time. “We are going to hold talks with the Centre in May-June on our reform proposals, including on dealing with such political parties.”

Asked about Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's frequent demand that the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls be held simultaneously, Mr. Chawla said he would not comment. The idea was first proposed by the former Vice-President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, and asked what would happen if a government lost majority soon after winning polls. — PTI

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