Hyderabad

‘Poll expenses must be checked’

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Ram Madhav supports plan for direct election of PM, CM

Money is required for politics but it should not be illegitimate. It is also important to define ‘illegitimate’ election expenditure, said Election Commissioner of India Ashok Lavasa.

Speaking at the plenary on “Illegitimate expenditure in Indian Politics”, he said that governments and political system alone should take the initiative for controlling expenditure in elections. Change for the better would happen fast when citizens adhered to social and moral values, he said.

Mr. Lavasa admitted that a situation was prevailing where no one but ‘crorepatis’ would win the elections. Yet, the Election Commission beyond a point has no power to control the expenditure in elections. In the last election, ‘crorepatis’ accounted for 37% of MPs elected and this time, the number shot up to 87%.

In a recent election in a State, it was proved that those who were awarded contracts a few months before the election gave large amount of donations. “A discussion on election expenditure should be held from various angles, including the campaign involving celebrities and media owned by political parties,” he said.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said that they, in principle, supported the proposal for direct election of Mayor, Chief Minister and Prime Minister in the form of Presidential election. But without adopting the presidential form of institutions in other countries, a discussion should happen to suit conditions in our country.

“Huge amounts of money were being spent because of lure for power vested in political posts. At present, power was centralised at the highest level instead of being vested with people. Delegation of powers to local governments alone would bring down the monopoly of MLAs and MPs,” he said.

FDR general secretary Jayaprakash Narayan, who chaired the session, said that parties and leaders could bring forth reforms to make democracy work better and meet people’s aspirations.

“The Modi government has the wherewithal to bring in reforms for direct election of CM and PM, proportionate representation and decentralisation of power to local bodies and Mr. Ram Madhav should take initiative,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:13:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/poll-expenses-must-be-checked/article30538166.ece

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