Introducing electoral reforms
To reduce the influence of
money and muscles power in
3.Kaushal Kumar Sinha
“An election is a moral horror, as bad as battle except for
the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.”
-George Bernard Shaw
India is a constitutional democracy with
a parliamentary system of government,
and at the heart of the system is a
commitment to hold regular free and fair
These elections determine the
composition of the government, the
membership of the two houses of
Parliament, the state and union territory
legislative assemblies, and the Presidency
Bribing of poor citizens, who are vulnerable to the temptation of easy money and vague promises, and
threatening them with muscle power by the politicians for votes.
The dominant role played by money and muscle power in the elections has diminished the opportunity
for a capable man with honest intentions and little resources to contest elections.
The use of money power and muscle power in elections are the direct consequence of corruption in
The Election Commission can play a positive role but it has it’s own limitations, since it depends upon the
government machinery to conduct elections, which are under the control of many dishonest politicians.
A total number of 38,99,48,330 people voted out of total
electorate size of 67,14,87,930
Negative Votes &
President Rule 3
Budget allotted to
Not from criminal
More than 3 blood
relatives should not
“Elections are held to delude the populace into believing that
they are participating in Government”
1.NEGATIVE VOTES & e-VOTING:
Permit online voting:
Election Commission should also consider out of box ideas like online
elections for allowing voters to vote online. This would not only ensure greater
participation of migrants and youths but would also ensure fearless voting ,
especially in terrorist dominated and violence prone areas.
Introduce finger print electronic voting:
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. This would not be as difficult as it is thought now,
considering the growth of information technology.
Introduction of negative voting option on EVM:
There should be a provision enabling the voter to reject all the candidates in
the consistituency if he/she does not find them suitable. This rule is similar to
rule 49’o’ in the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 of India.
49’o’:-the right of a voter to go to a polling booth and state on record that he
or she does not wish to vote for any of the candidates listed.
Infact if the '49-O' votes more than those of the winning candidate, then that
poll will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. This will result in reduction
in muscle power.
Scrap MP/MLA constituency fund
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
Impose President’s rule three months before the Vidhan Sabha
The 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.
Stop bribing poor section of society:
Bribes from political parties to voters, in the form of cash, goods, or services, are a regular
feature of elections in India. Strict actions should be taken found indulged in it.
Setting up fast track courts for election disputes
Fast track courts should be set up during elections for resolving issues at state and
central level. They should have the power to ban the criminals and dishonest people
from contesting the elections.
The expenditure estimation for an election estimated as Rs 5 per voter as election
expenditure, for 600 million voters, and calculation of all the expenses in a general
election estimated around Rs 2,000 crores. Then there is the period between elections.
This requires around Rs 250 crores. Then there are state elections and local elections. All
told, the system has to generate around Rs 5,000 crores. Still above Rs1500 crores is
spent on campaigning and this figure is ever increasing.
EC should monitor the expenditure.
Control of expenditure during elections:
3.CRITERIA FOR CANDIDATES:
Conduct knowledge test for candidates
While educational qualifications need not be insisted for the candidates contesting
elections, still a minimum qualification intermediate should be mandatory .
Thus, ignorant people who have only money power and muscle power do not enter the
fray and win elections.
As Election Commission have tenure
of six years, they should prepare the written paper for the candidates appearing for
This will also give path to youth to enter in politics.
Curb family interests
To curb vested family interests which often result in money power and muscle power,
more than three blood relatives(from the same family) should not be allowed to contest
from the same party.
As ATM cards so would
be On-Vo Cards with
unique „Bar Codes‟.
People having would be
given either this On-Vo
card or Voter ID card on
They just have to ENTER
the barcodes and
password online to the site
maintained by Election
Commission of India.
One cannot opt for both
Voter ID as well as On-Vo
There wont be an „NO
EXTRA BUDGET‟ required
for this purpose.
Instead of EVM, Finger
print electronic voting
machine could be
Specially for the critical
areas where chances of
bogus voting are high.
Introduction of a choice
of negative Vote on the
As we have icons for
different political parties
on the EVM machine .
Similarly, a negative vote
icon should be introduced
in every EVM.
This will require „NO
The officials appointed
at booths for conduction
of voting in region must
convey the „CONCEPT OF
NEGATIVE VOTE‟ to the
Control of expenditure
Setting up fast
track courts for
Stop Bribing Poor
Section of society
Expenditure by the
candidates must be limited
to Rs.15,00,000 for Lok
Sabha Elections and
Rs.6,00,000 for Vidhan
A proper record of the
expenditure done by the
candidates must be audited
by the ECI
Those found spending
extra should be punished by
deducting the amount
spend extra from their fund
for the next elections
should start not before 15
days from the elections
Judges of Fast Track
Court should be specially
appointed for specific
period of election.
The verdict of court
should immediately be
A strict action should be
taken against politicians and
their supporters for bribing
Those found guilty should
be debarred from contesting
If the guilt is proved after
election is conducted , then
the respective candidate
should be debarred from the
forth coming election and
suspended from the current
Conduct knowledge test
Curb family interests
Knowledge Written Test for those
interested youths should be prepared by
Training of selected candidates for 1-1.5
months should be conducted by an
Recruitment of Experienced Committee
for each state(avg. of 5 members) should
be as followed:
Retired Army officer and retired civil
services employees(collectors, DMs, IPS,
IAS) having no criminal records should be
recruited based on their interest in it.
People having clean political background
retired from politics(having atleast 5 years
of experienced) can also be a part this
As being a part of this committee is a
matter of privilege than source of income,
therefore for each state
From a family only at most 3 blood
relatives should be given tickets to contest
for elections from the same party.
Democracy is not like family Business. So,
if son/daughter or any relative of a politician
holding an eminent post, wishes to contest
election he/she must appear for exams and
training procedure too.
5*5 lakhs pa=25 lakhs
Criteria for Candidates:
Points to be thought upon:
A result of a survey on youths based on
questions asked below:
1. As today’s youth would you like to join
politics and why?
2.Should the scheme of negative votes be
accepted and implemented by the
3.Can the number of voters casting votes
be increased by introducing e-voting?
4.Does the criminal background of leaders
affects your choice?
Average percentage of voting still below 60.
Diversities in different
Political Parties in India:
on the basis of
character, on the
basis of money
Challenges and Risks:
Implementation of President’s rule may create chaos.
Online voting site should be checked against hacking.
Replacing EVM by Finger print electronic Voting is a tough as well as
lengthy task. It requires a large budget.
In a large democratic country like India, fast track verdict is less
practical due to political influences.
While a large portion of Indian population is poor and uneducated
therefore imparting knowledge to them about new electoral reforms
would be a difficult task.
Poverty restricts bribery and greed provided by electing candidates.
The idea of Conduction of written examination for new candidates
may suffer opposition from many politicians.
Website of Election Commission of India.
Essay on money and muscle power by Megha Shankar.
Articles from ‘The Hindu’.
Ncert books on Political science.