Bhubaneswar: At least 400 delegates from different walks of life are expected to attend a two-day national conference on electoral and political reforms beginning in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar Saturday, organisers said.

“This year’s conference is important because it will focus on political parties’ reforms,” Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of non-political groups National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms, told reporters here Friday.

The demands of the citizens for clean candidates and free and fair election is increasing day by day. This will increase pressure on political parties to be more democratic, transparent and accountable in their functioning, he said.

“The eighth national conference would illustrate the increasing strength of National Election Watch and its continuous efforts to improve and strengthen democracy,” he added.

Election Commissioner H.S. Brahma would inaugurate the conference and Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Qurashi would address the delegates Sunday.

Representatives of all major political parties would participate in discussions on the “Political Parties (Registration and Regulation of Affairs, etc.) Act, 2011”, he said.

Media personalities, retired judges and bureaucrats, police officers and political analysts would join discussions on issues like role of media, money power, role of youths and participation of women in elections.

Local representatives of parties were also expected to participate in the conference, said Ranjan Mohanty, state coordinator of the NEW.

Source: IANS