Updated: January 26, 2022 3:01:57 am
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju Tuesday during his address on the National Voters’ Day said those trying to discredit the Election Commission of India are trying to discredit the Indian democracy and added that the courts can criticise the poll body but judges should also keep the language in mind.
“Elements who are trying to discredit the Election Commission of India are actually trying to discredit the democracy of India. In a democracy, everyone has the right to criticise but keep the language in mind. The court can criticise the Election Commission but the judges should also think about the language being used to criticise,” he said.
The minister also said he wanted to speak at length in Parliament about The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha last month as the Opposition had walked out in protest.
“Recently, we passed some amendments in Parliament but due to so much ruckus and problems I was handicapped that I could explain…What we are trying to say is that the hard work done by the Election Commission and our ministry (law ministry) through cooperation should reach the people,” he said.
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Rijiju was the guest of honour at the event in New Delhi organised by the Election Commission of India. The theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day is ‘Making Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative’.
Naidu said India must arrive at a consensus to have simultaneous elections.
“In the 75th year of our Independence, let us resolve to leave no voter behind and aim to increase the turnout to at least 75% in the next general election. Let each one of us realise that vote is not only a right but a responsibility,” Naidu said in the note.
“We, as a nation, must think and arrive at a consensus to have simultaneous elections to all the three tiers of the federal setup and move towards better governance by focusing our attention on all-round development of our people,” he added.
To mark the occasion, the National Awards for the Best Electoral Practises for the year 2021-22 were conferred on the state and district-level officers for their performance in the conduct of elections.
During the function, the newly-enrolled voters were also felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
For the past 12 years now, January 25 has been celebrated as the National Voters’ Day. The Election Commission came into being on January 25, 1950, a day before India became a republic.
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