President Pranab Mukherjee has pitched for a strong electoral system to strengthen the democratic structure of the country.
He said, timely electoral reforms are necessary which would not only give justice to the people but also to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution.
The President called for undertaking a dispassionate analysis of the electoral process to address the shortcomings in the system. Mr Mukherjee was delivering inaugural address at an All India Seminar on Economic Reforms With Reference to Electoral Issues organised by the Confederation of the Indian Bar in New Delhi today.
He said, generally in the past, coalition governments at the Centre contributed to unstable governments necessitating frequent elections. He also referred to the issue of responsibility to the electorate and said that Parliament is not merely a deliberative but a decision making body.
The President also called for revision of the number of Parliamentary seats in tune with the current population. He said, the present strength of the Lok Sabha represents the population figure of 1971 census whereas the population has increased manifold since then.
He said, this is an anomalous situation, where 543 Lok Sabha constituencies represent 1.28 billion people. The President emphasized the need to look at the legal provisions on the delimitation of the Parliamentary constituencies to increase its number.
Mr Mukherjee asked if Great Britain can have more than 600 Parliamentary constituencies, why India can not have more number of seats with much higher population.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of India Justice J.S. Khehar opined that political parties should be held accountable for violation of poll promises.
He said, now-a-days manifestos have become a mere piece of paper. Mr Khehar said, political parties give brazen excuses like lack of consensus amongst their members to justify non-fulfillment of their poll promises.