Electoral Reforms means introducing fair
electoral system conducting fair elections.Six
decades ago,India opted for parliamentary
democracy at the time of independence.
In India electoral process is vitiated by
four M’s namely Money power, Ministerial
power, Media power and Muscle power.
Attempts are electoral reforms, must
therefore aim at elimination of all these four
evils. Of these, the malady of Money power
and Muscle power is the most malignant.
Problems during election times
•Dominance of money and muscle
•Criminalization of politics
• Financing of election exceeding the legal
• Booth capturing
•Intimidation of voters
•Buying of voters
Money & Politics
• The role of unaccounted money in election has become a
serious problem. The political parties collect funds from
companies and business houses and then use this money
to influence the voter to vote in their favours. Note for
vote scam is the biggest example of money power. On
seeing these instances politics seems to be the market of
barter system that is “vote do note lo”.
“Money and Corruption are
running the land crooked politicians betray the
working man, pocketing the profits and treating us
like sheep and we’re tired of hearing promises that
we know they’ll never keep.”
BUSINESS REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT
It may be recalled that the mainstream discussion on the influence of
money power in election hardly takes into account the growing
presence of business interest in Parliament and State Legislature. It is
high time that we changed this attitude as direct representative of
business in legislature has much more serious consequences for
policy making than influencing it through funding parties from
Rising tide of corporate, funding of elections, advancing
level of assets of elected representatives and the enveloping
presence of business in parliament taken together definitely point
towards the possibility of such a connection.
Therefore the impact of the influence of money power in
election is not as simple and moderate as it was a few decades back.
Today it is no longer restricted to obtaining a couple of import
licenses or tax concession for subsidies for corporate houses or rich
farmers. But as a greater influence in redrawing the rules governing
political economy of the country.
Muscle Power in Politics.
• C.M of Maharashtra
• In Adarsh housing
Y.S Jaganmohan reddy
• Member of
• Accumulating huge
• In 2005 election in
Bihar included 358
criminals acts like
Criminalization in politics is not very new, there were and there
are many of the politician charged with criminal and corruption
records some of them are Prakash Singh Badal and Sukhbir
Singh Badal ,chief minister and deputy chief minister of Punjab
were being held for cheating, possessing asset disproportionate
to known source of income.
Some of the example of Muscle power are as follows-:
Elected for 4 successive terms in Indian Parliament (1996-2008) from
Siwan Constituency Bihar on RJD ticket
In 1996, named as Minister of state for home ministry in the H.D.
Deve GOWDA government
Currently serving life sentence for kidnapping with intent to murder
and 34 cases of serious crimes are pending against him.
He is commonly referred to as “The Sahabuddin of UP”
He is an Indian Politician from Maunath Bhaujan or Mau in Eastern
He recently won the Mau seat in the UP elections, 2007 as an
independent while lodged initially at Ghaziapur jail.
He was a member of the 14th lok sabha from the Phulpur lok sabha
constituency in UP
He is currently in prison facing trial 35 criminal cases including several
cases of murder
In the Indian general election, 2009 , he was allowed to run for
election since he is yet to be convicted in any case.
Criminal charges on political leaders
• Election Commission should introduce finger print based electronic voting machines,
which would count a vote to be legal only when the finger print of the person matches
with the one in the database. This would completely eliminate bogus voting.
• While educational qualifications need not be insisted for the candidates contesting
elections, they should be asked to undergo a knowledge test by election commission. This
would ensure that ignorant people who have only money power and muscle power do not
enter the fray and win elections.
• President’s rule should be imposed before the general elections should be accepted and
implemented to ensure fair elections, even if it would require an amendment to the
constitution. Ensuring that the politicians would not be in power at the time of conducting
the general elections would go a long way in conducting fair elections in the country.
• A special permanent court must be constituted to look into all issues relating to elections
at the state and central level , which should be a fast track court, which would have the
authority to ban criminals and dishonest people from contesting in the elections.
• We should focus on the issue of “None of the above” on which more than 1200 NGO’s and
other citizens are focusing . If more votes is given to none of the above then it means that
all the contesting candidate have been rejected by the voter .If this happens National
Election Watch, wants a re-election to be held in which none of the above present
candidate should be allowed to contest election.
• If election takes place and none of the party wins with the majority votes then election
should be made between first two parties with maximum number of votes so that , that
party comes in power, that is more supported by the public.
• The Right to Information Act (RTI) should be further fine tuned and stringent punishment
should be given to the government officials who do not provide the information sought
by the citizens under RTI Act. Huge campaign should be made amongst the citizens to
encourage them to seek information under RTI Act from the government whenever
needed by them without any sense of fear, to ensure transparency in the government
• No MLA or MP should be permitted to contest in elections more than two times. The
American law that no one can become President more than two times is a commendable
step and similar regulations should be followed in India also.
• The MP and MLA constituency fund should be scrapped forthwith, as there is lot of
evidence of this being used for corrupt practices and generation of black money which is
used during elections.
• Political parties should be made more accountable by being forced to do internal audits
of their finances and producing evidence of internal democracy. At present, there is no
indication that Election Commission exercises any visible or effective supervision in this
• In recent times, many voters have complaints that their names have been removed from
the rolls. In today’s conditions when the names of the voters are in the website, each
citizen should take pain to see the website and ensure that his/her name is in the list. If
not, they should put up a complaint to the election commissioner immediately. The
Election Commission should do sustained campaign to educate the voters on this. NGOs
can help the illiterate voters and those who do not have access to website in this regard.
• Organizations should be formed who could be part of law making but before that, should
ask opinion of public, by process of voting or by holding sessions or meetings so that
public could come to know about the whole process of law making and problem being
faced during this process.
• Having ensured the overall situation in the country ,we can
conclude that political parties have miserably failed in bringing the
change that people of India deserve and desire. Although one
cannot claim that all the people in political parties are corrupt, it is
almost certain that even good people cannot succeed in bringing
the change . The scenario is that parties are getting bigger than the
country and individuals are getting bigger than the parties.
We realize it’s so easy to write but tough and perhaps dangerous to bring
ourselves to action. But if a movie like “RANG DE BASANTI “ could awaken us then so
can we rouse our friends who read this.
Youth will have to promote themselves to go to the villages and create public
awareness. The nation cannot be satisfied with a voting rate of 50% ,atleast 85%
people will have to vote for strong democracy.
If we wish to change this country everyday is important to us till
we make such change through 2014 election. So, let us get aware and
organized. Bigger the organization more are the chances to win.
“THE BALLOT IS MORE STRONGER THAN THE BULLET”