. Fairness at play: Introducing electoral reforms to reduce the
influence of money and muscle power
“Political parties are indispensable in
parliamentary democracy. There are
1,200 political parties in India and of
these about 150 are active and
For example, in the current Lok
Sabha, nearly a quarter (23.2%) of
the MPs have reported criminal cases
against them. One out of two among
them (over 50%) has cases that could
of imprisonment of five years or
“The electoral system in any country should support and strengthen the
empowerment of the people of the country to exercise the system to guarantee an
equitable framework of economic and social justice”
Electoral system in India
Indian follows First-past-the-post (abbreviated FPTP or FPP) voting which refers to an election won
by the candidate(s) with the most votes. The winning candidate does not necessarily receive an
absolute majority of all votes cast.
• Candidate doesn’t always get absolute majority (sometimes less than 30% of votes win him)
leaving the majority population unrepresented.
• Hugely encourages money and muscle power.
• Makes smaller parties negligible and incompetent.
• Voters can easily miss-out the chance of being a part of voter bank.
• The entire system is old traditioned and needs revival.
Problems associated with conducting fair elections in India:
•Fragmentation in political parties leading to confusion in choice for people.
•Weak and nepotistic politicians inclined towards gaining power.
PROPOSED SOLUTIONS FOR FREE AND FAIR
PROBLEM: Less percentage of voting leading majority voters unrepresented.
Lack of sense
to make it as
the use of
Graduate population and formal sector workforce carries a large share of vote in the
Country. Make compulsory voting for them in 3 elections out of 5 going to be held in
•Facility to vote online from wherever they are.
•In cities, increase the no. of polling booths to one every 1 KM of radius.
•Incentives of govt. benefits to those who vote in all the elections in a given time frame.
Set up “citizen empowerment centers” at each block level with the sole purpose of
educating voters on elections and guiding them.
•Will require govt. funding and machinery.
•Tie ups with civil society organizations.
•Citizen empowerment centers will have at least 5 coordinators representing different
places of the region.
•Extensive use of electronic and print media.
Strengthening local governments to more citizens friendly which can popularize
governance and thus interest in the voters.
•Reveal the accounts of expenditure to the people to enhance the trust factor and
•Strengthening the programs like MNREGA.
•Tie ups with “citizen empowerment centers'”
•Form a separate college wing in the election commission for students who are above 18
years of age.
•Every college with over strength of 3000 will have a separate chapter in the election
•College with less than 3000 strength to merge with other local institutions.
• Govt. and corporate funding to be endorsed.
•Online voting for students and polling booths in the colleges, if required.
Decriminalization of Politics
We all know if criminals enter politics, it could take generations to eradicate, but the
question is, DO WE HAVE THAT MUCH TIME IN OUR HANDS?
What are we waiting for then?
That means a whooping 20.8% of MP’s of the present Lok Sabha have pending criminal cases
against them. That’s a 27% rise since the last five years!
So what do we do?
Fast track courts for pending cases and immediate disqualification from post upon
Section 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 should be removed, so that the
process of disqualification is not delayed
Since the youth of India are showing increasing concern of the above problem, the Supreme Court can
come up with means of educating voters in the above topics by using street plays, SMS texts, television
serials or other media.
Every police station in India should have a history sheet for each person, showing a complete record.
And upon elections, the validity of the charges can be questioned and accordingly action can be
Punishment for certain offences should altered to ensure that no comeback into politics is
allowed and new offences should be added.
Prevention is better than cure, so let’s make sure we are rid of all the corrupt
elements in our governance. This will lead to cleansing the nation.
• Public interest foundation: Report on decriminalization of politics.
• fdrindia.org: Election reforms.
• All India Progressive Forum: Need for electoral reforms in India
• Election Commission of India: Election reforms.
• Election reforms word press
• India Grows at Night by Gurucharan Das
• Economic and political weekly