Former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami on Saturday called upon the electorate to become conscious, choose the right candidates and start questioning their members of Parliament (MPs).

Delivering the Kalki Sadasivam Memorial lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, on the topic ‘Elections and corruption — are they inseparable?’ he said things would not change unless voters sat up and took notice, asked questions and demanded responsible behaviour from MPs.

He cited instances of political parties doling out money before the elections and said candidates and voters needed to realise that giving and accepting cash was wrong. Quoting a study by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, he said there was a correlation between criminality and assets of candidates. “The more money a candidate has, the greater his chances of winning,” he said.

Mr. Gopalaswami said if the Aam Aadmi Party had stayed on, they could have shown how governance could have been done and made other parties understand what the voter wanted.

“Same way, when it came to selecting the candidates, they showed there was another way to it,” he said, adding, parties like Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party were having to re-think the kind of candidates they were choosing.

The Kalki Sadasivam Memorial Trust Award was presented to advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather for their advertisement for IDBI that celebrated friendship and childhood. The Trust also disbursed scholarships of Rs. 7,500 each to 10 deserving students of mass communication. Trustees Akhila Ramnarayanan, Seetha Ravi and ‘Kalki’ T.K. Rajendran were present on the occasion.