Introducing electoral reforms to reduce
the influence of money and muscle
power in politics
“DEMOCRACY IS OF THE PEOPLE BY THE
PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE”
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF
Elections in India have been plagued by issues related to criminalization of
politics and abuse of money and power.
• Besides money power and mafia power four C’s are also
important i.e. Corruption, criminalism , castism,
• Poll booth are frequently captured by contesting parties.
• Black money is used by different parties for election
• Misuse of government policies by currently ruling party
for acquiring votes.
• Firearms are frequntly used and people are forced to vote
for a particular party.
• Many of the so called politicians are involved in serious
criminal cases like murder, rape, kidnapping, etc.
• Some MPs have also been involved with the mafia, using
muscle power to tilt the voting count in their favor.
• 33% of candidates who declared assets more than INR 5 crore, won in 2009.
• Amongst the MPs elected in 2009, 162 had 522 criminal cases pending against them of which 76 were serious cases.
• In the seven years between 2004 and 2011, the Congress received over Rs 2,004 crore from donors; the BJP got about Rs
994 crore. Smaller and regional parties too got significant sums.These amounts were declared by parties; however, the
source of over 85 per cent of donations is not known.
• In terms of campaign finance, the election commission prescribes the maximum limit allowed under election expenditure
(Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961).v Currently, each candidate is allowed to spend a maximum of INR 40
lakhs per Lok Sabha constituency . The maximum expenditure allowed to be spent by candidates per state assembly
constituency is INR 16 lakhs. However crores of rupees are spent per constituency for election propaganda.
Measures Of Electoral Reform
Curb black money
Fine tune the RTI Act
Impose President’s rule
three months before the
Introduce finger print
Permit online voting
test for candidates
Educate the voters
Give security to Election
Commissioners / Electoral
AHEAD….From Black to White….
• In the last two years, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has seized Rs 18,750 crore as black money, and a
big chunk of this could have poll connections. As per law, political parties do not have to declare the source of a
contribution under Rs 20,000. This loophole is used liberally by almost all parties. For instance, the BSP said it
received a total Rs 172.67 crore in 2009-2011, but claimed that not a single donor gave above Rs 20,000.
• People donating less than Rs 20,000, to political parties should provide PAN numbers.
• contributions to political parties by people should have audit reports attached,
and parties should specify the amount received in cheque and in cash.
• Setting up institutions for dealing with Illicit Funds.
• Imparting skills to the manpower for effective action by
educating people and creating awareness among them.
• Government should encourage various NGOs which work towards making people
aware about paying taxes.
KILLING Muscle Power…..
• Booth capturing is a very prominent problem during elections. Almost every State in the country has witnessed some booths
being captured either by the ruling or opposition parties.
• Firearms are unanimously used during voting to force the people to vote a particular party.
• Election commission should provide a website, fax, mobile number, etc.for voters to report any inappropriate behaviour or
incidence during elections like booth capturing and use of
• Election Commission should publish candidates’ affidavits on the its public website.
• The election commission must seize the firearms of politicians during elections.
• 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.
• Election Commission should also consider online elections for allowing voters to
vote online. This would not only ensure greater participation
but would also ensure fearless voting , especially in terrorist
dominate and violence prone areas.
AMENDMENTS….POLICY IMPLEMENTATION….AND INNOVATIONS….
• 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
• Voters must be properly educated and made aware about their rights.
• 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. Thus voters
have a right to know about their political leaders.
Challenges To Electoral Reforms
• CORRUPTION is a major issue and adversely affects democracy and electoral system.
• The ruling party uses its power to acquire votes.
• There are challenges to implementation of reform policies
due to slow political system and red-tapism.