Electoral reform process a long wait but no hope

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The real strength of Indian Democracy

In a regional conference organized in National capital on the issue of Money power in politics and its effects on people’s representation the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi spoke frankly about the anomalies and lacuna in electoral legal system and which pave the way for money power to take centre stage in electoral politics and threat of people’s real representation being hijacked with moneybags in near future cannot be ruled out. Nothing could be more real picture of our present electoral system and politicians which reflects in the speech of CEC where politicians and candidates in Loksabha and Assembly elections exploit the lacuna of electoral legal system and under report their poll expenses and are not ready to come under public scrutiny to be questioned for source of their funds or donations.

Chief election commissioner raised the issue which has been in debate for last several years but the whole political system was seen to be keen to push some electoral reforms in late 90’s when criminalization of politics was the most important debate among people of country and it was thought at that time that  country is heading very fast to an era when Mafia syndicates and criminals will dictate the terms of politics of country, because in that era those mafias and criminals who were working for politicians for a long time learn the art to win elections and thought rather than working for their masters they should directly enter into politics and it started working very well  for them and they started not only to win elections but they proved to be more handy for people who have their rules and working style in many issues to work been done more quickly bypassing the procedural system and with this   growing trend  established political system was gripped under fear of losing its stature and they all came together to be agree to talk on some electoral reforms but concrete steps never been taken so far to stop the use of unaccounted money in winning elections and make laws for more transparency in receiving money for political parties and using them for elections.

According to present rule one candidate in assembly elections can spend 28 Lakhs and candidate in Loksabha elections can spend 80 Lakhs in his election campaign but those who have watched the election campaign closely at any level can easily laugh on this cap and conclude how our legal system in itself ask to explore ways to negate the laws and make it laughing stock. In present scenario of electoral politics the candidates in  election of village council and city council spend more money that is required for Loksabha and Assembly elections and except of  this the other most amusing part is that candidates of assembly elections and Loksabha elections when submit their expenditure they even underreport their expenditure .

The real danger before our democracy and people’s representation in near future is to save our politics from going into hands of big money bags because the immense use of money influenced the mandate in several ways and the very essence of electoral politics which is there in system to realize the every section of people to feel how much they are part of power will become meaningless and money power will decide, dictate and manipulate the mandate and gap between people and its representatives will become more wider because people would thought they  have elected their  representatives but in the reality the representatives  will serve their money baggers  and frustration and revolt will emerge among the people.

It is high time to think about the real electoral reforms to minimize the role of money power in winning elections.  Like Atal Bihari Vajpee in last general elections Nanrendra Modi also promised for some radical reform in electoral politics and one of them was to curtail the usage of money in elections and make sure fast speedy trial of criminal cases of member of Parliaments but once apex court disapproves his suggestions he never approached for new one or doing any effort to reach to political consensus to push for electoral reforms.