The Times of India
Ita Nagar

ITANAGAR: The core committee of the State Election Watch (SEW) has said it would initiate steps for electoral transparency in Arunachal Pradesh.

The steps would include writing letters to all political parties and leaders, bureaucrats, judges and eminent persons of the state seeking their support in conducting free and fair elections and de-criminalizing politics in the state, an SEW member said here on Monday.

During its maiden meeting on Saturday, the committee also resolved to file applications under the RTI Act to the speaker of the legislative assembly and the DGP, seeking a list of convicted candidates and the list of cases withdrawn against MPs and MLAs of the state.

Led by Rajiv Gandhi University's political science department head, Nani Bath as coordinator, the SEW has been constituted by the National Election Watch, which is a branch of the New Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The primary objectives of the ADR are to improve governance and strengthen democracy by bringing in sustained electoral and political reforms.

In 1999, a PIL was filed by the association at the Delhi high court, requesting for disclosure of the criminal, financial and educational background of candidates contesting elections. 'Based on this, the Supreme Court in 2002, and subsequently in 2003, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting elections to disclose their criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission. Nerist associate professor Tado Karlo, advocates Sunil Mow and Jimsi Tassar, social activists Tarin Mama and Ajit Tajo, RGU assistant professor David Gao, and Karpu Chisi are the other members of the SEW.

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