New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed concern over the use of money power in elections, saying besides the Election Commission, political parties and voters will have to work together to end the menace.

Addressing a gathering at a book launch here, he said some parties and candidates are evening giving out ‘mangalsutra’ (symbol of a married woman) as freebies ahead of polls.

Batting for simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha, assemblies and local bodies, he said “election fever” throughout the year means longer imposition of the model code due to which developmental work takes a hit.

He also suggested setting up of special election tribunals to dispose of election petitions against candidates which otherwise take years in regular courts. As of now, such petitions can be filed in high courts.

The vice president was of the view that the current provisions of the anti-defection law should be made more stringent as they still give scope to defections.

Referring to the Hindi version of the book on Indian elections by former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi, he said there is need to encourage other languages including Hindi.

He said other Indian languages should not be referred to regional but Indian languages.

Naidu recalled that in his younger days, he had blackened Hindi boards at a post office and a railway station but later regretted when he came to Delhi in 1993 and understood the language’s importance.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.