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Prince Thomas
I believe the story lies in the detail.

Managing Elections: A Commissioner’s Note

Amit Dave / Reuters

Photo: Amit Dave / Reuters

I have just come back from attending an endearing talk by India’s Election Commissioner HS Brahma. The Commissioner was talking at CII’s Annual Session about ‘Managing Elections.’

Here are a few statistics to drive home a point that Naushad Forbes, Director, Forbes Marshall, made later in the day; that handling business is easier than the general elections!

814.5 million voters will queue up in front of 10 lakh polling booths across the country to elect the next members of Parliament. The work environment for the election officials will be tough with temperature ranging from -10 degree centigrade to nearly 50!

But even as I was coming to terms with this huge logistical exercise and appreciating the work done by the unknown officials in the largest democratic exercise in the world, I was struck by what Brahma said next. “Sadly, elections have become a place for under-hand dealings!”

This was a refreshingly transparent view from a serving senior bureaucrat. Clearly, he was disappointed with the course elections in India have taken. Following are some of the points that Brahma highlighted -

Since 1950, he said, 1600 parties have registered with the Commission. But only about 90 of them have contested any kind of election, be it nationally or at state level. So what did the rest do? They were formed for availing income tax exemption!

Since 2003, India has seen 60,000 candidates getting into the fray. Of them, 20,000 had criminal records!

Finally, Brahma narrated an anecdote about his meeting with one of these candidates from the southern part of the country. “He complained that the limit of Rs.70 lakh was too less for spending on election campaigning,” the Commissioned recounted. He was dumbfounded when the aspiring politician said that he had a budget of Rs 35 crore! Worse, the candidate knew a peer who was spending almost Rs 100 crore in the campaigning!!

Brahma noted that elections in India have become everything about money power and muscle power. And then borrowing a business jargon, he said, “Today, there is no level playing field in elections.”

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Madhava Rao M.K.
Those who are voted they can eligable for all the required things like petrol, gas and etc. Then only the real democracy will act accordingly.
Madhava Rao M.K.
To avoid the under hand dealing oin the election either by parties or candidates , that the remedy is hand over their candidate AFFIDAVITS OF WEALTH & their financial transaction to IT OR to directorate of economic offence for the genuinety of affidavit.
Hi Madhava, you are right, the only way to clean to make every transaction transparent.
 
 
Prince Thomas
Despite the seemingly royal linkages of my first name, I like to see life from the back bench. While studying it helped when lectures were unending but later I realized it also worked as a corporate reporter. It gives a clear view of both the performer and the viewer; of the 360 degree perspective and the minute detail. Now while tracking the world of business for the pages of Forbes India as Senior Assistant Editor, I will use this space to share what I observe from that rear seat.
 
 
 
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April 01, 2014 11:46 am by Prince Thomas
Hi Madhava, you are right, the only way to clean to make every transaction transparent.
March 28, 2014 23:07 pm by Madhava Rao M.K.
Those who are voted they can eligable for all the required things like petrol, gas and etc. Then only the real democracy will act accordingly.
March 28, 2014 23:02 pm by Madhava Rao M.K.
To avoid the under hand dealing oin the election either by parties or candidates , that the remedy is hand over their candidate AFFIDAVITS OF WEALTH & their financial transaction to IT OR to directorate of economic offence for the genuinety of affidavit.