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  2. 2. 4.ELECTION CAMPAIGN In our country campaigns take place for a 2-week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling. Candidates contact their voters, political leaders address election meetings and political parties mobilize their supporters. Media plays a significant role. election campaign is not limited to these two weeks only. Political parties start preparing for elections months before they actually take place In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections recorded Rs 10,000 crore was Spent. 5.POLLING The penultimate stage of an election is the day when the voters cast or ‘poll’ their vote. This day is called the election day. Every person whose name is on the voters’ list can go to a nearby polling booth .Electronic voting machines (EVM) are used to record votes. The machine shows the names of the candidates and the party symbols. 6.COUNTING OF VOTES Once the polling is over, all the EVMs are sealed and taken to a secure place. A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs from a constituency are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted. The agents of all candidates are present there to ensure that the counting is done properly. The candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected. In a general election, usually the counting of votes in all the constituencies takes place at the same time, on the same day 1.CONSTITUENCIES The country is divided into different areas – electoral constituencies(based on population density). Voters living in an area elect a representative. Lok Sabha elections have 543 constituencies. The representative elected from each constituency is called a Member of Parliament . Every vote has equal value. Similarly, states are divided into a specific number of Assembly constituencies. In this case, the elected representative is called the Member of Legislative Assembly . The same principle applies for Panchayat and Municipal elections. Each village or town is divided into several ‘wards’ . Each ward elects one member of the village or the urban local body. Sometimes these constituencies are counted as ‘seats’, for each constituency represents one seat in the assembly. 2.ELECTORAL ROLL In a democratic election, the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and given to everyone. This list is officially called the Electoral Roll/Voters’ List In our country, all the citizens aged 18 years and above can vote in an election. Every citizen has the right to vote, regardless of his or her caste, religion or gender. 3.NOMINATION In order to be a candidate the minimum age is 25 years. There are some other restrictions on criminals etc which apply in very extreme cases. Political parties nominate their candidates who get the party symbol and support. Party’s nomination is often called party ‘ticket’. The contestant has to fill a ‘nomination form’ and give some money as ‘security deposit’. The candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving publicly full details of : 1. Serious criminal cases pending against the candidate; 2. Details of the assets and liabilities of the candidate and his or her family; and 3.Education qualifications of the candidate. Providing an opportunity to the voters to make their decision on the basis of the information provided by the candidates
  3. 3. ISSUES TO TACKLE: MONEY POWER MUSCLE 1.CRIMINALISATION: a) CRIMINALS IN POLITICS: i) The moribund justice system gives huge incentive for criminals to contest elections.Mafia /Gang lords enter politics to increase their existing power and monetary gains along with providing a shield from the law and order establishments. They also acquire the power to make laws that facilitates this cycle. ii)The voters succumb to threats by goons and in order to avoid harassment they exercise their Right to Vote in favour of goons. iii) The voters are disillusioned between notoriety and popularity . Sometimes local “DONS” are seen as protectors of the poor in their areas and thus people give this more importance over criminal cases registered against them. iv)Politicians use criminals for selfish needs Criminals/ syndicates seek patronage to carry on their criminal and anti-national activities . Criminals win as candidates, intimidation of voters ,proxy voting booth capturing are the other means of them cheating the system. OUT OF 7810 CANDIDATES 1158 (15%)HAD PENDING CRIMINAL (608 serious) CASES TOTAL 117/438 (26.71%) INC 116/428 (27.10%) BJP 107/493 (21.70%) BSP 20/68 (29.41%) NCP EXAMPLES: DINESH RATHAUR(BIHAR,ARARIA CONSTITUENCY) TOTAL=52 CASES ,IPC COUNTS =58 KAMESHWAR BAITHA(JHARKHAND,PALAMAU) TOTAL CASES =35,serious IPC COUNTS =51 JAWAHIR(U.P,CHANDAULI) TOTAL CASES=44,SERIOUS IPC COUNTS 45 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 2004 lok sabha 2009 lok sabha MPs with pending criminal records candidates with pending criminal cases
  4. 4. b) BOOTH CAPTURING i)Voters at the booth are forced to vote for a party candidate by respective representatives of party, who are ironically present there to ensure fair elections .This takes place by both muscle as well as money power. Prevention of voters from reaching the booth by various measures like suppression or threat. Prevalent in 70’s,Booth capturing,Doctoring of ballot boxes has been brought down by the stringent laws of the EC. HOWEVER BRIBERY OF EC OFFICIALS STILL CONTINUES. ii) Fake voting, Hired voting,Dead voters etc occur during elections . A significant population of the country do not turn up for voting during elections (generally middle class) in their constituencies because of transfers,work etc. Due to religious sentiments ,faces of voters clad in burqa are not verified. Sometimes Party loyalists take advantage of this fact and impersonate these voters. Fraudulent voting by rigging and impersonation clearly highlight MUSCLE POWER. iv) Tampering of evms : Tampering of evm’s can cause disastrous consequences on the election results. Even more shocking is the fact that the EC wont even come to know if the evms have been tampered with.The issue has’nt been resolved by the EC. During 2009 Lok Sabha polls in WEST BENGAL a string of incidents including booth jamming were reported throughout the day from different parts of Kolkata ,that left at least 10 INJURED!. A mob tried to capture a booth at Olwara village in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur but were prevented by para military personnel during 2009 Lok Sabha elections In August 2013,Delhi CEC uncovered a massive electoral scam involving use of forged documents to obtain voter identity cards for 13 lakh bogus voters. Surprisingly during revision exercise 80000 valid voter cards for DEAD PEOPLE! Huge irregularities have been found in the old electoral roll of the city which enlists many people who are dead,shifted from their original place . A Hyderabad based NGO and engineer proved that evms could be tampered. The chips are imported from Japan and there is a possibility of giving 60 per cent of total votes polled through the EVMs by one particular candidate (party) if the chips are programmed in such a manner. 2.MANIPULATION OF VOTES: While voting by the people is done on the citeria of how parties have played a role in the development and betterment of the country ,These days the public attention is being diverted to trivial issues by influencing their ideas . COMMUNALISM Communalism aises when a particular religious group tries promoting its own interests at the expense of others.While speaking at Kurnool in 2011, Owaisi used the derogatory terms Kafirs to refer to MLAs. He made derogatory comments against Hindu god Rama and his mother Kaushalya. Owaisi made derogatory remarks about Hindu goddess Bhagyalakshmi at a public rally in Nizamabad.Varun Gandhi said that he would "cut off the hand that is raised against Hindus .If you want to save the Hindu religion, vote for me. If a Hindu doesn’t vote for me, he would be betraying his religion.” MOVIESTARS/MEDIA To allure a particular caste and creed these political parties leaders effectively know how to make this statement favor them. Shameful acts of bringing bar girls to dance in their rallies are prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. In Haryana the local folk song singers, to sing ‘Raginies’ , in Punjab various artists to perform Bhangra, in the south Tamil and Telegu film stars are called upon to gather the masses. The Bollywood actors are all time favorites in the entire nation. All they say is that these are for the entertainment of the voters..Some News channels sensationalise and are biased.
  5. 5. 3.ABUSE OF MONEY: 1.DONATIONS: 1. In between 2004 -2011 i)Congress received Rs 2,004 crore from donors; ii) BJP got about Rs 994 crore iii)BSP received Rs 172.67 crore in 2009-2011 2. Friends ,Party ,MAFIA (black money) and associates of candidates pump in unlimited amounts 3. Parties say donors give sums less than Rs 20,000, and need not be made public. Not in conformity with Sec 29-C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which says parties only have to submit a list of donations above Rs 20,000. Parties claimed thousands of crores came from small unnamed donors 4. Party funds rest on commissions creamed off government contracts, and on bribes given by industrialists to whom the parties have granted favours 5. The source of over 85 per cent of donations is unknown. 6. IDEA(Institute of democracy and electoral assistance) shows India to be amond the 10%of countries of the world to allow anonymous donations The funds provided to (or gathered by) contestants are then used to seek to bribe voters. The money spent in fighting elections is recovered many- fold in case the party or contestant wins. 7. A total of 244 candidates declared zero assets. 8. 1249 candidates out of 7810 i.e. 16% were crorepatis. Among major parties, 275 candidates out of 438 t (63%) of INC and 180 candidates out of 428 of BJP (42%) were crorepatis. 9. 33% of the candidates who declared assets of Rs 5 crore and above won. 2.STATE FUNDING: 1, According o the interim budget by FINANCE MINISTER :Rs 11.2billion was allocated for election expense. 2. Predicted Rs 100 billion to be allocated for2014 polls. 3. Election expenses : 0.2% of the GDP in 2009; not significant by itself, except that the entire sum is spent over just one month 4. In Lok Sabha constituencies ,maximum amount that can be legally spent by a candidate is Rs.40 lakh. 5. In state assembly constituencies amount is Rs.16 lakh. II) BRIBERY: 1.Bribing voters has become a ritual. One can't ensure victory by this, but by not doing so one ensures defeat. 2.Poor voters expect bribes from political candidates, and candidates .Paying to dig a community well to slipping cash into an envelope delivered inside the morning newspaper. The money to pay the bribes comes from the proceeds of fund-raising. 3.slums are critical to a campaign because their population density and poverty allows them to be more ‘easily mobilized' by bribes. 4.agents come in the middle of the night, between two and four in the morning, when the Election Commission is asleep. 5.IDF found that almost all slum clusters and colonies were supplied with liquor and cash,laptops,gold,blankets , rice sacks etc. Rs 2000 crores went in giving cash to voters and paying for their liquor in 2009 polls. EXAMPLES: Reports of cash filled envelopes along with newspapers were dropped at everybody’s homes leaving them no choice but to accept the bribes. I) RALLYING: 1.Accessories like flex boards, banners, flags, bags, pens, pins, posters, stickers, masks, photos etc. has no count. After the elections all of them are found lying on the road sides. They all are sheer waste of money. 2.Ruling government imposes taxes to achieve the losses occurred during elections. 3.Estimated eight thousand crore rupees went in ticket buying, buying weapons, travelling, security, stage etc.
  6. 6. GUJRAT e-VOTING FEATURES: 1.Gujarat State Election Commission implemented e-Voting for the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation elections on 19th April 2011. 2. e-Voting implemented across all 11 wards of the civic body. 3. i) TOTAL- 1582 registered e-Voters ii) 1464 voters from their homes or office computers . iii) 118 voted at e-Booths set up by the commission. WORKING: 1.Citizens register online via the SEC website and vote from their own PC or an e-Booth. 2. SEC officials visit to verify the voter’s credentials and take his signatures in physical form. 3.On Voting day , registered citizens login to their account, and vote online through a digital ballot paper. Voting is done through the same computer which was used for activating the account. 4.For verification, SMS passcode is sent to their registered mobile number ,entered during online voting. Passcode is valid for 5 minutes and can be re-generated in case of failure, a maximum 2 times. 5. An encrypted receipt is issued after successful voting. ADVANTAGES 1.Nolong queues. 2.Implementation by TCS(private firm). 3.Assistance 0nline and toll free no. 4.Reduction in Bribery/Muscle power because of personal password and username. DISADVANTAGES 1.Security/Secrecy/Hacking can cause tampering 2.Requires good internet connection. 3.Installation charges. 4.Influence is possible at e- booths VENEZUELAN MODEL FEATURES : 1.touch-sensitive electronic pad to make/confirm choices. After confirmation, encrypted electronic voter is randomly stored in the machine’s memories. Voters audit their own vote by reviewing a printed receipt placed into a physical ballot box. 2.At the End of Election Day, each voting machine computes and prints an official tally: precinct count. An electronic copy of the precinct count is transmitted to the servers in the National Electoral Council’s central facility, where overall totals are computed. 3.By mutual agreement between the contenders(e.g 52.98%) of the ballot boxes are chosen at random, opened, and their tallies compared with the corresponding precinct counts. 4.conducted in the presence of election officials and political parties to ensure proper functionality and full confidence in the system ADVANTAGES: 1.One of the most Transparent systems of the world. 2.Ensures double –checking. audit step ensures that no vote manipulation has occurred at the polling place. The extent of this audit, the widest in automatic elections, leaves little room for questioning. 3.Reduction in tampering of Results DISADVANTAGES: 1.Doesn’t solve the issue of booth -capturing,bribery etc. 2.Difficult to implement ,INDIA being a large country: i)Power outage ii) Long lines
  7. 7. S.NO PROPOSALS/REFORMS BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION 1. Affidavits to be Filed by Candidates on Criminal Antecedents, Assets, etc. 2. Need to Increase the Security Deposit of Candidates 3. Criminalization of Politics :This proposal relates to disqualify any persons accused of an offence punishable by imprisonment for five years or more, from contesting elections even when trial is pending, provided charges have been framed against him by a competent court 4. Restriction on the Number of Seats from which One May Contest .This proposal is to amend the law to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency at a time or if the present provision is retained then there should be a provision which would mandate to deposit a definite sum in case a person get elected from both seats. 5. Prohibition of Surrogate Advertisements in Print Media. 6. Negative / Neutral Voting 7. Appointment of Appellate Authority in Districts against Orders of Electoral Registration Officers 8. Compulsory Maintenance of Accounts by Political Parties and Audit thereof. 9. Government Sponsored Advertisements. The Commission proposes that where any general election is due on the expiration of theterm of the House, advertisements of achievements of the governments, either Central or State, in any manner, should be prohibited for a periodof six months prior to the date of expiry of the term of the House. 10. Political Advertisements on Television and Cable Network. This relates to consider amending the relevant provisions of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Rules, 1994 to provide for suitable advertisement code and monitoring mechanism. 11. Composition of Election Commission and Constitutional Protection of all Members of the Commission and Independent Secretariatfor the Commission. 12. Expenses of Election Commission to be Treated as Charged 13. Ban on Transfers of Election Officers on the Eve of Elections 14. Anti-Defection Law :The question of disqualification of members on the grounds of defection should also be decided by the President and Governors, on the opinion of the Election Commission. 15. Use of Common Electoral Rolls at Elections Conducted by the Election Commission and the State Election Commissions
  8. 8. S.NO PROPOSALS/REFORMS BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION 16. Simplification of Procedure for Disqualification of a Person Found Guilty of Corrupt Practice. 17. Same Number of Proposers for all Contesting Candidates -Amendment of Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 18. Making of False Declaration in Connection with Election to be an Offence. Making of any false statement or declaration beforethe Election Commission, Chief Electoral Officer, District Election Officer, Presiding Officer or any authority appointed under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, in connection with any electoral matter should be made an electoral offence under the said Act. 19. Rule Making Authority to be Vested in Election Commission Making authority under the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and Representation of the People Act, 1951, should be conferred on the Election Commission, instead of on the Central Government, who should, however,be consulted by the Election Commission while framing any rule. 20. Authorisation of the Election Commission to issue necessary orders regulating registration and de-registration of political parties. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution recommended a follow-up action to the declaration of assets and liabilities by candidates - that the particulars of the assets and liabilities of both candidates and political parties should be audited by a special authority created specifically under law for this purpose. Accounts of candidates and parties should be monitored through a system of checking and cross-checking through the income tax returns filed by candidates, parties, and their well wishers. At the end of the election each candidate should submit an audited statement of expenses under specific heads. The Law Commission, in its 1999 report, recommended steps be taken to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951, to insert a new section 78A requiring the maintenance, audit and publication of accounts by political parties. To enforce compliance, Section 78A would prescribe the following penalties: (i) a political party which does not comply shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- for each day of non-compliance and so long as the non-compliance continues; (ii) If such default continues beyond the period of 60 days, the Election Commission may de-recognise the political party after affording a reasonable opportunity to show cause; The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, 2001, recommended that the existing ceiling on election expenses for the various legislative bodies should be suitably raised to a reasonable level reflecting increasing costs. The ceiling is currently Ra 25 lakhs for a Lok Sabha seat and Rs 10 lakh for an Assembly seat. In order to cope with rising expenditures over time, this ceiling should be fixed by the Election Commission from time to time and should include all the expenses by the candidate as well as by his political party or his friends and well-wishers and any other expenses incurred in any political activity on behalf of the candidate by an individual or corporate entity. Law Commission of India recommended that in electoral offences and certain other serious offences framing of charge by the court should itself be a ground of disqualification in addition to conviction.
  10. 10. MUSCLE INFLUENCE 1) Establishment of special courts/tribunals to decide election petitions and also cases against candidates to be disposed within 6 months. 2) Suggested that fast track courts should be established in every District and those found guilty should be punished and barred from contesting the elections. Partnership with NGOs may be formed for bringing awareness in citizens about their right to vote. Some qualifications for candidate should be there, such as graduates, with age where younger should be preferred. Candidates with criminals records should be barred from contesting elections. The term for elections should be three or maximum four and what is important that the voters be educated as to how valuable their votes are. 3)Power to be given to the Election Commission for deregistering political parties. REFORMS FOR MONEY POWER 1. Political parties should be classified as public authorities to bring them under RTI act and declaration of accounts annually,indicaing their sources of fundng,patterns of expenditure should be made mandatory. 2. Vigilance bodies should be formed to ensure strict implementation of annual reports being sent to constituents by mp’s and mla’s, 3.The funds allocated to parties should be decided according to the votes gained in the previous elections 4.All expenditures irrespective of who paid it should be included in the expenditure of the candidate 5.Appointment of a news media regulator a month before notification for the general elections to avoid paid news and to ensure equitable reprresenetation in the broadcast tim e etc over and above the conduct of free and fair elections. 6.Mechanism for veriication/auditing of return of expenditure and publicity of returns by candidtates a system of check and cross check. 7. Submission of annual statement of expenditure duly audited by the Chartered Accountants approved by the Election Commission and annual statement of expenditure along with the audit observations should be published. 8. Affidavit should have a summary sheet containing disclosure of income, Pan Number, and the source of income and the expenditure incurred by political parties. In the EVM, a button may be provided to register a vote as none of above. Serious action should be initiated against candidates not filing expenditure report. Citizens may be allowed to inform violation of election Code by the candidates or political party. The Returning Officer should be given power of Magistrate in deciding the cases on filing of nominations.
  11. 11. REFORMS IN VOTING CONDUCT 1.Violence, casteism and communalism should entail cancellation of registration of such political parties. 2. Restrict multiplicity of political parties. 3.Suggested to put a curb on the regional parties as they have a debilitating and destabilising effect on government at the national level particularly in an era of coalition politics. 4.Minimum of 10% votes must be polled to a State level party in that State and All India level party in the central elections; otherwise it should be debarred for the next one election. 5.Only party members are to be allowed on stage to address rallies,anyone else found shall be fined. 6. ) time table should be formed for various elections and people be made aware of this. Criminals/culprits are given parole during elections which is a serious matter and this be taken up by Election Commission with the Home Ministry. Public transport for rural areas/urban areas be made freely available. Anti-defection law is not made applicable to municipal corporations which may be examined now. 7.)Auditoriums need to be set up for addressing the public during polls to reduce stage setting up expenses OTHERS / electoral roll 1.The power to decide the disqualification should be with the judiciary and the Election Commission 2. There should be transparency in how political parties should conduct themselves. The issue of paid news needs corrective measures. Law may provide for a time-frame for taking up of confidence motion and in case of election petition too, a time-frame may be given. 3. Many citizens are not registered in the electoral rolls because they do not have permanent address. This may seriously be looked into. It is necessary to make a distinction between criminal and political activist and the right to recall elected representative may be provided in the law 4.ALTHOUGH e-Voting installation is expensive ,it saves money as posters, billboards etc. are not required also maintenance is easy and economically feasible 5.There should be a comprehensive review of voters list as duplication of EPIC numbers, common name in the voter list and many voters exists with same name and number. 6.Chief electiojn officer sgoold be appointed by the PM,Head of the opposition in the Lok sabha,Chief Justice of INDIA and Rajya sabha speaker IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMS: the above reforms face the following problems: 1.Tampering of EVM are possible 2.Hacking of online govt website should be taken into account and their protection needs to be reinforced 3.The amendments to the present laws are still a problem as they are passed by the corrupt Politian's