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Reality Of Electoral Expenses

Publish Date: 15 Feb 2011, 08:48 PM
Last Updated: 15 Feb 2011, 08:48 PM
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It is indeed surprising to know that the Central dispensation is keen on pushing up the existing ceiling on election expenses for various legislative bodies. It is disappointing that enhancing the ceiling on election expenses from Rs 25 lakh to 40 lakh for a Lok Sabha seat and from Rs 10 lakh to 16 lakh for an Assembly seat is being considered a part of electoral reforms. On one hand, we talk about reforming electoral process and about making contesting polls fre from money-muscle powers, on the other we discourage the same by spiraling up the cap on electoral expenses. It is not possible for a candidate to fight election, for either an Assembly or a Lok Sabha seat, under the proposed limit of expenditure in polls, so candidates are compelled to give false figures of electoral expenses right from the beginning of the electoral process. It is crystal clear that a candidate forks out millions of rupees on an Assembly or a Lok Sabh election and flaunts his/her money-muscle power impudently to win it. Our policy makers should embrace the reality that politics has become such a platform using which everyone wants to hit jackpot and enjoy the fruits of power, compromising the values and virtues of politics which was earlier meant for doing social service.

While leaders are expected to focus on social welfare, they resort to corrupt means to fulfill their political needs and this is the reason which emboldens the role of money and muscle in the elections. Contesting elections and running political parties entail huge money. It is a bitter pill to swallow that political parties meet their expenses with the help of contributions made by party functionaries. It is a reality that black money has a pivotal role in running a political party, which is why leaders take decisions to mint more and more black money. These decisions later spawn scams and scandals. Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said that if we succeed to check the use of money-muscle, presence of goons and prominence of terror elements, everything will fall in place. But there has been no sincere effort to take concrete steps in this direction. The political parties are not ready to insulate politics from black money nor do they make any system to checkmate criminal elements from fighting elections, which stonewalls bonafide citizens from contesting polls.

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