Election Commission should build consensus on poll reforms: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 29 December 2016, 09:34 PM
A file photo of Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
A file photo of Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The Election Commission needs to build a political consensus on the issue of electoral reforms, including funding, the government said on Thursday, putting the ball back in the court of the poll panel on its long-pending demand for changes in the system of party fundings.

Responding to a string of questions on the demands of the commission to amend electoral laws to bar anonymous donations above Rs 2000 and to give it power to deregister a political party, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government will render full cooperation to the poll watchdog on the issue.

"Our government stands firmly behind the proposal to make electoral funding more transparent. This requires political consensus across political divide. EC needs to take stand in this regard. We shall render full cooperation," he told reporters.

Addressing one of his election rallies in Uttar Pradesh recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hailed EC's efforts to cleanse political system of black money.

The commission has sent to the law ministry a string of electoral reform proposals, including the one to reduce from the present Rs 20,000 to Rs 2000 anonymous political donations, power to countermand polls over proof of use of money power and authority to deregister political parties.

Several EC proposals are pending with the government which the poll body feels can help cleanse the electoral system.