Election Expenditure in India

Election Expenditure in India

Election is the most Beautiful & Important political affair of World. In India it’s no less than Festival, where everyone participate openly. Election Expenditure in India is a big issue . Especially, in Today’s politics where Money power is stronger than anything. Election Commission too has raised its concerns for Election Expenditures in India. Not in just General Election but in Assembly Election & Panchayat election as well, the issue remains same.

What’s the Concern

In the past 10 years, the Expenditures on Election has increased significantly. About ₹60,000 crore were spent in 2019 General Election. Election Expenditure in India of Political Parties as well as Individuals have been on continuos rise . These Parties dont reveal any information regarding donors. Further, Suspect & Concern is that, Political Parties might be earning these donations from Corrupt sources. Also, there is quite a possibility that the funders might be funding Political Parties black money. In the absence of law, Party Fundings can’t be investigated . Even, these political parties have secured themselves from falling under RTI.

Therefore, Significant amount of Money was spent on social Media campaigns. According to media reports Nearly 5000 crores was spent on Social Media in 2019 Lokshabha Election. Rise in the Election Expenditure in India by Government is also a major concern. Moreover, the Government has spent nearly 3,426 crore in 2014 Lokshabha Election. Obviously, this number have increased 10000 crores in 2019 Lokshabha Election. Thus, Per voter cost increased to ₹72 per voter which was ₹46 in 2014.

Party Wise Expenditure

BJP was far ahead than other political Parties in 2019 elections. According to ECI, ₹ 2037472683 was spent by BJP. Major part of BJP’s income came from Electoral Bonds, introduced by Modi Government. Which later was considered as Inappropriate by SC & ECI. Although, for candidates, ₹50-70 lakh was determined as upper limit of
Election Expenditure in India by ECI. Instead, many politician have crossed this mark abruptly. Sunny Deol has received a notice from ECI for spending more than ₹ 70 Lakh in Elections. Not just Sunny Deol but several politicians on VIP sets have spent more than ₹40 crore in 2019 election.

While Congress registered decline in donations from 2009 & 2014.  And, INC spent only 15-20% of Total Election Expenditure.

 



Indication Behind Rising Election Expenditure

The increasing trends clearly shows that influence of Money has become more strong in Indian Democracy. Therfore, Increased Expenditure is an indicator that democratic values & ethics are being dismantled totally. Meanwhile, Political Parties & Candidates have spent lavishly to win votes with the help of money. The influence of Social Media was more than any other platform. That’s why, Facebook, Whatsapp etc were on Top priority as part of their marketing Stratigies. Furthermore, It showcases the idea that the election has become a Market field in todays world, one who offers more gets more. Ultimately, this increment in election expenditure have questioned our Political Morals & Ethics.

Conclusion

To remove this Apathy from our democracy, India needs some major reforms.

Firstly, Focusing on Election Expenditure being sponsored by the Government. That government should finance the election for both party & candidate.

Secondly, Need of holding the simultaneous election. Which will bring down the expenses of Government.

Third, Making all parties to come under RTI for better Transparency.

Fourth, Limiting the amount of money from various sources. But the question remains same will parties have guts to become transparent?

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