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  1. 1. Reducing the influence of money and muscle power in politics Team Details:- 1.Tarun Narayan Bhardwaj 2.Kashish Goyal 3. Deepak Singh 4.Ankit Kumar Singh 5. Himanshu Rana
  2. 2. Elections are foundation stone of any democracy. As the democracies in the modern times are mainly representative in character, they are shaped by the method of election. India has adopted the representative system of democracy Criminalization of politics has led to immense pressure on functioning of political institution. The worst part of picture is that “criminal record” becomes an essential qualification for entry into politics. In India Politics is not a social service anymore, instead it emerged as a lucrative profession or business. Today it is used to believe that crime is the shortest access to legislature and parliament of India. The way our legislatures, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State assemblies, function does not make us proud. One of the major causes for the unruly and unproductive functioning of the legislatures is the quality of people who find their way into the legislatures. For example it was reported in the media that more than half of the MLAs elected to the current state assembly of Uttar Pradesh had significant criminal records.
  3. 3. (i) Since parties are focussed only on winning elections, they tend to use short-cuts to win elections. (ii) They tend to nominate those candidates who have or can raise lots of money. (iii) Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have influence on the policies and decisions of the party. (iv) In some cases, parties support criminals who can win elections. (v) Democrats all over the world are worried about the increasing role of rich people and big companies in democratic politics. India's political parties have an array of potential candidates to choose from, so one wonders why they choose candidates with criminal records. Money is clearly one major consideration. It is no secret that elections in India have grown increasingly expensive. Because parties need resources to fund activities such as campaigning, voter mobilisation and vote buying, they place a premium on selecting self- financing candidates who won't be a drain on finite party coffers. Candidates linked to criminal activity are attractive in this regard. If one looks at the assets of the more than 45,000 candidates who contested state elections between 2003 and 2009, the median “clean” candidate has a personal wealth of roughly Rs 400,000, compared to assets of Rs 1.1 million for the median indicted candidate. Parties place a premium on criminality (i.e., muscle), in part, because it often brings with it the added benefit of money.
  4. 4. Money power of minister 1. Average asset value of an MP rose from Rs. 1.86 crores in 2004 to Rs. 5.33 crores in 2009, a 186% increase. 2. 302 MPs, who were elected in 2004, contested for re-election in 2009. Their average asset value in 2004 was Rs. 1.92 cr. and in 2009 was Rs. 4.8 cr., an increase of Rs. 2.9 cr, or 289%, which comes to an annual ROI of 60%. Clearly, politics is the best investment in India. Muscle power of minister 1. The number of LS members in 2009 with serious pending criminal cases is 76 out of 543, or 14%, an increase of 31% over the 58 members in 2004. 2. The number of Lok Sabha members of the 2009 House with pending criminal cases against them is a whopping 162 out of 543, or nearly 30% of the entire house. This is an increase of nearly 27% from the corresponding number (128) in 2004. Percentages of State MPs Facing Serious Criminal Charges (LS 2009)
  5. 5. The transparency in the government machinery is the basic requirement to combat corruption. 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 dealings. The suggestion of Rajaji that 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. The negative vote (not voting for anybody) should be accepted by the government and implemented and if any Parliamentary Act would be required for this, it should be ensured. Citizens should have the liberty to reject all the candidates if they would feel like this and this should be considered as their fundamental right in a democratic society.
  6. 6. 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. Election commission Police manageme nt IT / Media Section Fast track courts Advisory /investigation committee Coordination among the different organisations 1. Police should co-operate with the chief electoral officer . 2. All the data regarding the candidates should be provided to the election commission before the elections. 3. The data which is provided to the election commission should be given to the mass media so as to create awareness among the people . 4. If the candidate have criminal charges election commission can report a file over it and cancel their opportunity unless they get clearance from the fast track courts. 5. Advisory committee must be consist of benches of retired personals of various posts which will have the data and have the power to investigate the working of the candidate any time and give reports of the working progress to the election commission.
  7. 7. No MLA or M P 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. 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. 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 but would also ensure fearless voting , especially in terrorist dominated and violence prone areas.
  8. 8. 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. The cost of election campaign should be brought down by encouraging campaign through print and visual media in the form of advertisements , for which concessional charge should be fixed by the government and part of the expenses should be subsidized by the government. Maximum number of public meetings that can be conducted in each constituency by each party should be fixed and processions and posters should be banned. Anybody violating these regulations should be barred immediately for life from contesting elections.
  9. 9. It is necessary that the Election Commissioners and State Electoral Officers should interact with the people belonging to lower income group living in rural areas (majority of the votes come from them and they are gullible) every month as a matter of priority, to educate them that selling their votes would cause both the country and their personal welfare dearly in the long run.
  10. 10. Risk factor 1. Whole process requires more time to pass the desired bill in the parliament. 2. The upper class groups doesn’t show any interest because they are busy in their business. 3. Funding from the government should not be easy. 4. Poor and illiterate people will give to those who provide them money . Challenges on implementation 1. Providing awareness among people required huge media efforts . 2. Poverty should not be removed quickly. 3. Making coordination among people ,media election commission will be challenging.
  11. 11. for MP facing criminal charges All India Progressive Forum Proposed electoral reforms by Election commission of india