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Sonia seeks de-criminalisation of elections

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday asked political parties to make efforts to de-criminalise elections in the country.

Emphasising the need to reach a consensus to keep candidates with criminal background out of elections, Gandhi said there was a need to check money and muscle power during polls.

Gandhi, who is also the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was speaking at a function here to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Election Commission.

Maintaining that the Election Commission is the most important institution for empowerment, she said that in the past six decades, the panel has helped in strengthening the democracy by ensuring regular parliamentary/state legislative elections.

Assuring its full support to the Election Reform Agenda formulated by the Election Commission of India, the government said it would hold ‘a series of consultation’ this year to evolve a consensus on this issue.

‘To evolve a consensus on this issue, a series of consultations will be initiated from June, this year,’ said Union Minister for Law and Justice Veerappa Moily, who also spoke at the function.

‘Elections breed life into democracy and are act of faith in democracy,’ Moily said.

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