EC for stringent law to deal with political funding

EC for stringent law to deal with political funding

Batting for a "strong law" regarding political funding, Election Commission today said use of black money during elections has to be checked as it creates imbalance in a democratic system.

Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma said here that India needs a "strong law" to deal with the issue of political funding and to usher in "good accountability".

He said black money and money power, followed by muscle power create imbalances in electoral process and are not good for a healthy democracy.

"Black money impinges democracy. Black money and muscle power disturb level playing field...though money cannot guarantee votes, the one who can spend more has an upper hand," he said inaugurating a day-long consultations on 'political, finance and Law Commission recommendations'on electoral reforms.

Giving an example, he said there had been reports that candidates spend up to Rs 15 crore in assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. "From where does the money come and where does it go," he wondered.

Referring to the response of political parties on the issue of money power, Brahma said they also agree that its use should be curbed. He said privately most political leaders have agreed that money power is bad.

"Political parties and EC have to live happily like husband and wife," he said adding that there could be differences but the aim should be to cleanse the electoral system.
Speaking on the occasion, Law Commission Chairman Justice (Retd) A P Shah said money comes in truck loads during elections. He said in Tamil Nadu, candidates have been known to give Rs 5000 per person to electors to vote in their favour.

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