Consultation on poll reforms welcome, what next?

EC takes the law commission recommendations forward, but donít expect much from political parties

GN Bureau | March 31, 2015


#election commission   #poll reforms  


The law commission presented its 255th report, on electoral reforms, on March 12, with some bold recommendations to make democracy more meaningful and thriving. It should have generated a debate. But, like several reports on this crucial subject in the past, the political parties have largely ignored it.

An exhaustive analysis and criticism of the law commission report:
For a thriving democracy
The cover story of the April 1-15 edition of Governance Now



Against this backdrop, it is heartening to note that the election commission (EC) has taken the first step of organizing a national consultation on ‘political finance and law commission recommendations’, held in Vigyan Bhawan on March 30.

The seminar was attended by law commission chairman justice AP Shah, former chief election commissioners Lyngdoh, Krishnamurthy, Gopalaswami, Chawla and Quraishi, former chief information commissioner Satyanand Mishra, former CBDT member SS Khan, as well as representatives of political parties, lawyers, academicians, and members of civil society.

After opening remarks by election commissioner Nasim Zaidi and address by chief election commissioner HS Brahma, justice Shah gave an overview of the recommendations on political finance.

The event had technical sessions on four topics: international best practices on political finance, law commission recommendations and expanding in-kind government subsidy during election campaign; recommendations on contribution to political parties and candidates and law commission recommendations and reforms on accounting and disclosure of election expenses by parties, candidates and third party campaigners and reforms on vote buying.

The day-long consultation concluded with an address by Brahma and Zaidi.

According to a press release, the consultation groups arrived at broad consensus on some of these issues:


1. ‘Big Money’ in elections to be controlled

2. ‘Vote buying’ to be controlled within law

3. Transparency of accounts of parties/candidates

4. No corporate donation to political party.

5. Formation of a National Electoral Trust under the control of the election commission for corporate donations.

6. EC to be given power to make rules.

7. Third-party campaigners to be monitored.

8. Fast-track courts to try election offences.


The detailed report on National Consultation will be compiled and will be made available on the EC website, the release said.

While the consultation at least starts off the much-needed discussion of the law commission recommendations, leading political parties are yet to even react to the report, much less take action. For obvious reasons, the parties have shown little inclination to bring in reforms in electoral practices, and much of the way forward is solely in their hands, as their word is final in law-making.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Take action, NSUI tells police over varsity clash

The National Students Union of India (NSUI) on Thursday sought action against those who had assaulted students and teachers of Delhi university at a protest march on Wednesday.` “Our sole motive is to compel the police to take some strict actions against the lawbreakers who brutally manhand

BMC polls throw up fractured mandate

 It’s a hung verdict in the elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, which is India’s richest civic body. Shiv Sena bagged 84 seats closely followed by BJP that won 81 seats. Congress with only 31 seats  performed badly as compared to  52 seats  that it

A poem that gives a perspective on Indian Muslims

A beautiful poem on modern Indian Muslims has caught the imagination of the social media users. “Hindustani Musalmaan” by Hussain Haidry has gone viral on the net. Not just for being crisp, but also for conveying what it means to be a Muslim in this country. There

Demonetisation posed a new challenge to growth: IMF

The Indian economy has recorded strong growth in recent years, helped by a large terms of trade gain, positive policy actions including implementation of key structural reforms, a return to normal monsoon rainfall, and reduced external vulnerabilities, said the International Monetary  Fund (IMF).

The Nirbhaya of Naliya: a gang-rape in Gujarat involving BJP leaders

  The “Forum of Concerned Citizens for Naliya Incident” sent a fact-finding team to Kutch on February 20. The members of the team were Dineshbhai Sanghvi, Meenakshi Joshi, Balendra Vaghela, Dr Jharna Pathak and advocate Shabana Mansuri. Based on their report, the Forum ha

A blotch of saffron on Indian universities

University of Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru University and now University of Delhi…the free space for discourse is steadily being squeezed out of universities in India as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) imposes its will and forcibly blocks out alt

Video

यूपी चुनाव: सपा-बसपा समर्थकों के बीच हिंसा
Digital Transformation Summit

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter