Question: Transparency in election funding is utmost necessary for level playing field and ensuring accountability from political parties. Analyse.
Answer: Elections in India are costly affair that takes lots of resources. Political parties ask for funds to fight elections from private as well as corporate entities. The donors of the parties remain confidential, preventing voters from knowing their identity and motive for funding.
Issues in election funding
- No cap on funding
Currently, there is no cap on the amount that can be donated to political parties. This has allowed ruling parties to gather majority of funding.
- Non disclosure of identity
Identity of the donor remains confidential. If the identity is not known, people cannot decide if there is a hidden agenda behind donation.
- No rules and regulations
There are no laws in the country that define election funding or regulate the ways funds can be given to political parties.
Importance of regulated funding
- Working for welfare of people
If private entities fund political parties, then the government in power will be obliged to work for the donors instead of people.
- Level playing field
Many good candidates are unable to fight elections because of lack of funds. If financing is regulated, it makes the field level for all candidates.
Ensuring transparency in funding
Political parties should come under RTI act so that their operations are in public domain. This keeps them from misusing their authority.
There should be specialized body that will monitor election funds as well as spending by parties and candidates.
Thus, transparency should be brought in the way elections are fought in the country. This will strengthen democracy in the country.