K. Balchand

NEW DELHI:Notwithstanding voices for electoral reforms, Lok Sabha members on Wednesday demanded that the Centre either raise allocations under the MPLAD scheme or abolish it altogether.

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani called for electoral reforms demanding that the election campaigns should be publicly funded.

He raised the issue while participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address to Parliament. This was an issue that even the Congress favoured.

Mr. Advani expressed his concern over the new trend of “paid news” saying that it was a very serious issue and stressed on the need for government funding of elections. He said that journals and TV channels should be made to account for revenue generated from legal advertisements and the ones raised through paid news.

The working chairman of the NDA also demanded simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and all Statelegislatures for better governance, politics and social order.

Mr. Advani said this could be done through a constitutional amendment.

But one issue that caught the attention of several members was the one raised by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh, who demanded that the Centre either abolish the MPLAD scheme or increase the allocation to Rs. 10 crore per annum.