Social activist Anna Hazare has come out in the support of BJP MP Varun Gandhi's demand for a "right to recall" law. In a letter to Gandhi on May 16, Hazare said such a law will put pressure on political parties not to give tickets to candidates facing corruption charges or having criminal background. Parties give tickets to such candidates because they control vote-banks, Hazare said and also batted for the "right to reject" option at the polling stage. "If candidates from a constituency have criminal background or are facing serious charges of corruption, there should be an option to reject them.
EVMs should have a 'dislike' button and if a majority of voters press it, the election in that constituency should be cancelled," he said. Thereafter, a re-election should be held and such candidates should be barred from contesting it, he said. The anti-corruption crusader said the "None Of The Above" button on EVMs is not good enough as the election does not get cancelled even if a majority of voters opt for NOTA. The bill moved by Varun Gandhi would provide for the recall of MPs and MLAs within two years if 75 per cent of the voters in their constituency are dissatisfied with their performance. Encouraged by Hazare's support, Gandhi said he will try to intorduce the bill in the upcoming Monsoon session. The BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur posted on Twitter that he was honoured to have Hazare's support for the 'Right to Recall' bill. He said the bill will help increase political accountability and that he will request the BJP leadership to initiate a debate on the same. Gandhi has proposed an amendment in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 through his Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016. As per the legislation, the recalling process can be initiated by any voter of the constituency by filing a petition, signed by at least 25 per cent of the electors in that constituency, before the Speaker.