New Delhi, Oct 17: A day after the Election Commission disfavoured the idea of right to recall, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said government is working on Team Anna's proposal for such a provision which could form part of the all-party consultations on electoral reforms.
He said the demand for right to recall of elected lawmakers was a difficult task, but the government was “working on that”.
“We have a very strong lobby that is questioning us on the need to introduce the right to reject,” he said speaking on ‘Bharat and India: Challenges and Ambitions' at the Asian Forum for Global Governance here.
Khurshid said there are also “strong demands” for right to recall inspired largely by some small segments in US and Europe, particularly in municipal elections.
“Right to recall in a constituency that has more than 1.5 million voters. Get signatures from 100 thousand or 50 thousand, authenticate those signatures is not an easy job. But we are working on that,” he said.
The minister later elaborated that the Law Ministry has prepared a note on the subject.
“We have given papers on it. I have discussed it with the Election Commissioner as well. He has talked to the media and he has expressed some of his reservations. But we will be happy to put it to the all-party consultations that will take place.”
The all-party meeting could take place either this month or in November depending on the availability of party leaders. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to address it.
Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi had in a TV interview said he is not in favour of right to recall and right to reject, warning that any such electoral rule will “destabilise” the country.
Quraishi contended that it may not work in India given the size of the country.
Khurshid also said “may be one day” government will be able to provide voting on line. “Of course there are security issues there,” he said.
Referring to the civil society movement for a strong Lokpal launched by activist Anna Hazare, Khurshid said “movements like Arab Spring are in a sense sometimes seen remotely evident here in India as well. Most recently is a movement that was launched by a gentleman called Anna Hazare.” He said Hazare has still not really clarified on what is his position on Parliament.
“Sometimes he comes very close to saying Parliament must do what the people want... But Parliament can't do what people want all the time because you can't tell what people want. Even through opinion polls, you can get only a rough guesstimate of what people want. But we assume in a democracy, elections finally tell what people want,” he said in an apparent reference to ‘referendum' sought by Team Anna on Jan Lokpal Bill.