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  1. 1. Fairness at Play: Introducing Electoral Reforms to reduce the influence of money and muscle power in politics VELLORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY(VIT), VELLORE, TN. JATIN RELAN PRANJAL JAIN KHUSHBU AGRAWAL UTKARSH SINGH SHUBHAM VASHISHT उमंग 1
  2. 2. The people of a nation have the fundamental right – those whom they elect must govern. When they don’t, this fundamental right is criminally violated. Money and muscle power are still pervasive in our elections. Electoral reforms have been delayed. The arithmetic of elections is still disproportionately influenced by cynical considerations of caste and creed. The existing system operates to keep people with integrity and talent outside the democratic process. INDIA is the world’s largest democracy but the irony is that it stands average when it comes to the Implementation and Quality of Democracy. INTRODUCTION 2 INDIA has 700 Million Voters & 1 Million Polling Booths
  3. 3. CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES (Restricting Fair Play During Elections) •26 candidates Congress •24 candidates Samajwadi party •20 candidates BJP U.P. State Elections (Feb 2012) CRIMINAL RECORDS  Implementation of this rule will reduce wastage of money and will reduce its misuse and simultaneously will also reduce the use of muscle power and will promote fair elections. Implementation of 25% rule • No political party should sponsor or provide ticket to a candidate for contesting elections if he was convicted by any court for any criminal offence or if the courts have framed criminal charges against him. • The law should specifically provide that if any party violates this provision, the candidate involved should be liable to be disqualified and the party deregistered and derecognized forthwith. • If 25% of the candidates of a party have been proven guilty before or during elections then that party will be completely dissolved and will be debarred from contesting elections for that current year. • If 50% of the candidates of a party have proven criminal cases against them then the party will be debarred from contesting elections for the next 5 years. PROBLEM Almost all the political parties have a large number of candidates with criminal cases. SOLUTION 3
  4. 4. INCOME DIFFERENCES AMONG PARTIES (Restricting Uniformity in Elections) PROBLEM It has been noted that there are a lot of variations and differences in the incomes of different political parties which restricts uniformity in elections and promotes unwanted expenditure and criminalization. SOLUTION Election fund • Creation of separate Election Fund with an annual contribution of 1% of the total turn over by every registered company of India to the Election Commission India. • Donation through any external sources must be strictly prohibited Subsides for recognized parties • One rent-free telephone with subscriber trunk dialing facility. • Every candidate gets a specified quantity of petrol/ diesel during an election campaign • A specified quantity of paper • voter identity slip • postal stamps • five copies of electoral roll in constituency • An amplifier system for every assembly constituency/segment of Lok Sabha. Limitless election funds lead to expensive rallies and publicity stunts, unwanted expenditure and criminalization 4
  5. 5. Flow of Election Funds Election Commission India Amount Allocated to EC State =(Total Election Funds earned from companies /Total No. of Constituencies in India)X Total No. of Constituencies in a particular state Election Commissio n State 1 (Amount 1) Election Commission State 2 (Amount 2) Amount allocated to each political party=Amount2/Total No. of State Parties Political Part 1 Political Party 2 Political Party 3…….n-1 Political Party “n” Election Commission State 3……….28 Election Commission State 29 (Amount 29) Party Account 1. Creating a joint account of the political party. 2. Funds being transferred from EC India to State EC as per the given criteria. 3. State EC would then transfer the money into each state party’s account equally. 4. Political Parties to allocate funds for different election purposes on their sole discretion. 5. Personal accounts of the candidates will be monitored on a regular basis in order to avoid any mishandling of money. STATE FUNDING  Implementing the concept of state funding in elections would bring in an element of equality  It would help remove the disadvantages faced by parties which represent the socially and economically weaker sections and which often have limited access to bigger donors. State Funding Concept would be effectively implemented by 1. Banning donation in any form given to the parties by individual or by any organization. 2. Opening an account for each party which will be directly monitored by the SC and by the Election Commission. 5
  6. 6. Donations received by political parties during Lok Sabha elections (2007-2009 Statistics) DONATIONS PROBLEM Political Parties take/receive limitless donations for election purposes which leads to more and more crimes and leads to new ways of using the loopholes of the system in a negative way. SOLUTION • Banning donation in any form given to the parties by individuals. All transactions will be done through the common Party Account. • Declaration of assets/ liabilities by electoral candidates through their tax return file at least 5 months prior to elections. • Press release of all assets/liabilities of electoral candidates on an annual basis. • Stringent punishment for concealing or providing wrong information on minimum of two years imprisonment and removing the alternative punishment of imposing a fine upon the candidate and a column requiring candidates to disclose their annual declared income for tax purposes as well as their profession. 6
  7. 7. TIME BOUNDATION ON JUDICIAL VERDICT ON POLITICAL PARTIES 1. Prioritize Criminal Cases against Political Parties and their candidates over all other cases. 2. Panel of 5 Judges in SC and each of the HCs primarily monitoring the cases against Political Parties. 3. Shuffling the Panel every 6 months. 4. Shuffling of any Judge would be postponed until he/she rests all the ongoing Political Cases. 5. Time restriction of 24 months for the final verdict on all political cases.0% 50% 2004 2009 Lok Sabha Criminal Record 2004 2009 Time Division –Courts’ Verdict  Introducing this reform will avoid the unnecessary dragging of cases against political parties and would ensure the intake of deserving and ethical candidates. Fast Track • 6 Months • +1 months to appeal to next higher court High Court • 7 Months • + 2 months to appeal to next higher court Supreme Court • 8 months • Final verdict Members with criminal cases give rise to criminalization in politics. PROBLEM There isn’t any time restriction for the trial of criminal cases against the candidates of any political party. Due to this the candidate with unproven criminal charges still gets eligible to contest in the elections. SOULTION 7
  8. 8. FORMATION OF SECRET PANEL PROBLEM: During Campaigning, political parties come up with the failures and crimes of opposing parties and leaders and tend to malign the name of the opposition by putting false allegations on them which many a times stop eligible candidates from contesting elections. SOLUTION 1. Maligning the other parties’ name should be banned. 2. Rather a secret panel should be set up by the Election Commission which reports all the crimes under the name of the party and its candidates. 3. And this data should be released every year. It should contain all the crimes committed by the candidates of the parties whether reported or not and irrespective of being proven guilty. 4. It should separately categorize crimes like which have been reported and proven guilty, reported and pending court orders, reported and not proven guilty and also some unreported crimes which have been exclusively recorded by this particular panel. 5. This would discourage the practice of maligning one another’s names and would also help in putting a check on crimes committed by these white collar people. Eventually, it would help in creating a better election atmosphere. PARTY INC BJP BSP SP CPM NCP JD(U) Candidates Analysed 6322 5605 4739 2096 1163 1103 1005 MPs/MLAs Analysed 2451 1681 430 418 520 225 272 Candidates with Criminal Charges (CCC) 1407 1357 900 579 320 214 281 % CCC 22 24 19 28 28 19 28 Candidates with Serious Charges (CSC) 605 559 470 293 135 93 150 % CSC 10 10 10 14 12 8 15 MPs/MLAs with Criminal Charges (MCC) 527 520 149 180 111 67 120 MPs/MLAs with Serious Criminal Charges (MSC) 205 221 76 92 46 24 75 % MCC 22 31 35 43 21 30 45 % MSC 8 13 18 22 9 11 28 Avg. Assets of Candidates (in Rs.Crores) 4.32 1.79 1.25 1.52 0.2731 1.56 1.33 Avg. Assets of MPs/MLAs (in Rs.Crores) 5.81 2.88 2.73 4.16 21.21 3.56 3.61 Avg. Assets of Candidates with Criminal Charges (in Rs.Crores) 7.98 3.40 2.56 4.12 0.2091 3.31 0.8549 8
  9. 9. REFORMS IN EVM REGARDING NEUTRAL AND NEGATIVE VOTING Negative and Neutral Voting is closely linked with votes being required to win an election. This method of election is designed to achieve important objectives i.e., the negative vote is intended to put moral pressure on political parties not to put forward candidates with undesirable record i.e., criminals, corrupt elements and persons with unsavory background and the neutral vote would enable a voter to reject all the candidates in the constituency if he does not find them suitable. SOLUTION • Implementation of the rule ’49 O’ through EVMs. • Votes cast for the ’49 O’ option should also be taken into account. • Voter verifiable EVM. • EVM should provide an option of ‘Negative Voting’ against any party. 50%+1 RULE PROBLEM Party getting maximum number of votes wins irrespective of the percentage of people supporting them. Other Parties are not taken into consideration even if they loose by marginal votes. SOLUTION • A candidate is declared winner if he gets 50% of the total votes polled plus one otherwise re- election would be conducted between the top two contenders and the one who gets 50%+1 votes would be declared as the winner. • This is to cut down or curtail the influence and role played by caste factor in the electoral process. There is hardly any constituency in the country where anyone particular caste can command more than 50% of the votes. This means that a candidate has to carry with him several castes and communities to succeed. • Electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering must be upgraded. PROBLEM 1. Verbal Application for neutral voting can be used in a wrong way 2. Voter has to vote for any one of the party even if s/he doesn't find any candidate deserving. 9
  10. 10. CANDIDATE SELECTION PROCEDURE • Any citizen of the country must get a minimum of 3000 signatures or thumb prints for contesting in the Vidhan Sabha Elections(independently or from a party) and a minimum of 7000 signatures or thumb prints for contesting in the Lok Sabha Elections(independently or from a party) from the voters of that particular constituency. • Applicants must submit a documented file consisting of all the signatures and thumb prints of the supporting voters along with their respective ‘Voter Id Card Numbers’. • The candidates willing to contest the elections from a particular party have to exclusively get the approval of that party in order to further undergo the screening test. • A screening committee will be created in all 29 states and in centre consisting of former HC/SC Judges, IAS Officers and retired Army Personnels. • The screening committee would short list a maximum of 5 candidates from each constituency. The criteria for selection of the candidates are as follows:  courageous, has a vision for bringing in systematic change in that particular constituency.  understands all aspects and nuances of direct democracy (Swaraj).  has learned opinions on broader range of issues .  has secular views.  popularity of all candidates, their thoughts on various public, social and international issues . The political affairs committee will take the decision on who would be the candidate from a particular constituency. Receiving of the Nominations Shortlisting of the final candidates for screening Screening committee will have One-on-One interaction with all the applicants and inputs from sources like Journalists Reputed Citizens Active Volunteers And more….. Political Affairs committee after having one –on – one interaction will declare the final candidate who will contest the election. The shortlisted candidates will then be screened based on the criteria like their opinions on broader range of issues ,popularity, understanding of different aspects and nuances of direct democracy etc. SOLUTION PROBLEM Nowadays, people entering into politics with serious criminal charges like rape, extortion etc. is on the rise. Country is in a need of those who are having a vision to bring a change in the society so that it can be pulled out from the depths of corruption and wrong policies. 10 SCREENING PROCESS
  11. 11. CONCLUSION 11
  12. 12. • money-ten-years-election-watch • reports/recommendations/2011/recommendations-electoral- political-reforms-adr-new • • process-delhi-elections-2013-english-version • CHANAKYA’S new manifesto by PAVAN K. VARMA • b&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC0QFjAA& nIGwDg&usg=AFQjCNHjPGv5b_2q2GZsJBhTK5XqvHnVAQ&sig2=Ti tiYf_yXMKolJeitlBnHQ 12 REFERENCES