Bar criminals from contesting polls: Sangma
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Barring criminals from contesting elections is the need of the hour to protect the Parliamentary democracy in the country, said former Lok Sabha Speaker P Sangma here on Saturday.

Giving a lecturer on “Feature of Parliamentary Democracy in India”, organised by Vivekananda International Foundation here, he said, soon after police file charge sheet against any culprits, such persons should be barred from contesting polls. Accused persons should not be given an opportunity to contest poll till he or she gets clean chit from the courts, Sangma said.

Expressing concern over deteriorating Parliamentary democracy system in the country, former Union minister said another freedom struggle may be required to cleanse the system.

Calling for strong code of conduct for elected representatives, he said the ethics committee in Parliament should act quickly against the accused Parliamentarians instead of prolonging the issue.

Arguing that the prime minister of the country should be directly elected by the people, he said if direct poll was held for the PM, it would automatically improve the system.

He also said that Presidential system of governance like in America can be good if greater autonomy was given to states within the existing federal system. Emphasising greater autonomy for the states, Sangma said government should encourage small states for better administration and systematic distribution of welfare programmes.

Published in Deccan Herald 1st April, 2012

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