Bhopal: Political parties which do not contest elections will be deregistered, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said in Bhopal in Sunday.

Chawla told a conference in Bhopal that there were about 700 political parties registered with the Election Commission of India that avoid contesting elections.

He was addressing the two-day national conference on electoral and political reforms organised by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, which concluded here Sunday.

Anil Bairwal of the election watch quoted Chawla as saying that the Election Commission did not have the powers to de-register parties which did not contest elections.

"Sadly, the EC does not have power to deregister such parties. So, we are going to place a set of electoral reforms before the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) in mid-June," Chawla said.

Chawla also criticised the concept of "paid news", which involves newspapers carrying advertisements in the garb of news favouring political parties or candidates in elections.

"It is not even news selling, but misrepresentation to voters for consideration. This is a blatant abuse of freedom of speech and expression to camouflage advertisement as news," Chawla said.

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