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Electoral Bonds – Is it effective to bring Transparency in Political Funding?

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a 20-day window from where an individual, acting singly or in concert with others, can buy electoral bonds and donate money to political parties. Purchasers of these bonds have been granted anonymity, thereby creating opacity in what should have been a transparent process. Data gathered in response to an RTI query revealed that there has been a 62% jump in donations collected through electoral bonds this year (2019).

Notably, Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that the electoral bonds, wreck transparency in political funding. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC pointed to the amendments made to key laws, with dangerous consequences.

This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for better understanding & quick revision:

  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. What is the need for Electoral Bonds (Pros)?
  3. What are the concerns against Electoral Bonds (Cons)?
  4. What are the reforms needed in Indian electoral financing?

NRI Voting Rights – Measures, Challenges and Way Ahead

Nearly a year after the Bill proposing the extension of proxy voting to NRI voters lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had proposed the extension of the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to the overseas Indian voters on November 2020. Recently, the Election Commission announced that this facility would not be extended to the NRI for the upcoming assembly elections that are to take place in April-June this year. While such a facility is required for enabling expats to exercise their right to vote, the government must tread with caution during the implementation of such an elaborate process.

Simultaneous Elections – Is it a good idea?

Recently the ruling party has launched a series of awareness campaigns to develop a consensus on the issue of holding simultaneous elections in the country. Moreover, organizing simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies is an ambitious task envisioned by the Election Commission. But the Chief Election Commissioner opined that it cannot be implemented anytime soon.

State Funding of Elections in India – Need, Advantages & Disadvantages

Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.

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