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Plea to allow only national parties to contest Lok Sabha polls

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, AUG. 26 . The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central Government and the Election Commission on a public interest litigation petition for a mandamus to them to permit only those candidates belonging to recognised national political parties to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Though the court had dismissed the petition at the admission stage in May, notice was issued after the petitioner, M.O. Kandasamy Singh, a Chennai-based advocate, filed a review petition seeking reconsideration of the matter.

Absolute majority

In his main petition, Mr. Singh contended that there was an urgent need for national integrity and a strong Union Government and that could be achieved only if the national parties got absolute majority in Parliament. If the representation in Parliament was more than half the strength of the Lok Sabha, there could be no scope for a strong Government as it would spend more time appeasing the State Governments from where they get support in the Lok Sabha.

In the parliamentary elections held since 1991, people had given only fractured verdicts. No national party could get an absolute majority. Because of the differences among the combination of alliance partners, successive Prime Ministers could not take any effective measures in regard to policy matters.

Roadblock

Further, the presence of a large number of representatives from regional parties was a roadblock to taking strong measures. The increasing demands for separate statehood from different regions had also impaired the concept of a strong Centre. A weak Centre would be a danger to external security and internal cohesion. Even the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution had in its report stressed the need for a strong Centre and referred to the success of two-party systems in Britain and the U.S.

He also noted that on the eve of elections, only national parties published their election manifesto for the nation as a whole and regional parties had no role to play on major national issues.

He said State parties could send their representatives to the Rajya Sabha in order to air their grievances.

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