By Anurag Paul
Reforms in political parties are quintessential to electoral reforms in India, said H S Brahma, the Chief Election Commissioner of India. During his inaugural speech at the 11th Annual National Conference on Electoral and Political Reforms, Brahma said that every Indian should not only vote but also monitor working of our MP and MLA for 5 years.
“Electoral reforms for citizens mean vote responsibly, vote for good candidates”, he said while speaking in the conference held in Kolkata. The Chief Election Commissioner also released National Election Watch’s Lok Sabha 2014 report during the conference.
ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) organises the National Conference in a different state every year with the primary focus on Electoral and Political reforms. The Conference was held with the aim of synergizing efforts towards strengthening democracy in the country. Representatives of the NEW from each state chapter, members of political parties, government institutions and media was present to deliberate on issues related to electoral and political reforms in the country.
“Politico-business nexus is Gangotri of corruption,” said Journalist and political commentator, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta at the conference. He also suggested that Political parties should not be free to have their auditors.
Former Information Commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi suggested in the panel discussion that if electoral spending limits on candidates are removed, a few candidates may reveal their actual spending.
“The self sworn affidavits of at least winning and runners up candidates must be verified by the Income Tax Department,’’ he added further.