EC has finally woken up, says Somnath Chatterjee

| Updated: Dec 21, 2016 20:47 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Dec. 21(ANI): Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday expressed surprise on the Election Commission's decision to write to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informing them to delist 200-odd political parties, saying it is good that the poll body has finally woken up. Chatterjee told ANI, "It is surprising that Election Commission has taken so long time. If they knew that so many fictitious political parties are there, it was their duty to inform the authorities earlier. I think now at least they have woken up and it is good that appropriate action is taken or will be taken I hope," "How could they (political parties) get themselves registered with the election commission? And if they had no activity they have not taken part in elections..What for they remain in the list of the EC? If that is the position, sooner it is done the better and the Income Tax authorities and the other authorities should take appropriate steps in the matter." he added. Sources said the Election Commission suspects that most of these political parties may be indulging in money-laundering operations. The Commission has the power to register a political party, but there is no guideline to allow it to de-register any party that has been recognised. The Election Commission has written to several governments in the past, requesting for power to deregister "non-serious" political parties. However, nothing has been done in this regard yet. Under the existing law, various political parties are expected to file their Income-Tax returns containing details of donors, who have made contributions above Rs. 20,000.Most political parties, however, declare most of their funds as having come from unnamed donors donating less than Rs. 20,000 each. The political parties by doing so get away without having to name the source of their donations. (ANI)