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Swarna Bharat Party asks PM Narendra Modi to implement State Funding of Elections on per Vote Basis

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Swarna Bharat Party Members in a street protest, Facebook
New Delhi, Dec 16, 2016: Mr Sanjay Sonawani, President of Swarna Bharat Party, India’s only liberal party, welcomed Mr Modi’s proposal for state funding of elections. As explained at length in SBP’s manifesto, state funding of elections on a per vote basis is an urgently needed, vital reform of governance. 
 
It is in our interest to ensure that honest and competent candidates contest elections. Good candidates are a public good, more important than any other public good. We, the people, must be willing to incentivise such candidates to contest. 

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While the level of electoral expenditure is never the only determinant of electoral success, good candidates are defeated in our system even before they start. Honest competent middle class or poor persons refuse to contest elections since they stand to lose their hard earned savings if they lose the election. To add to the conundrum honest people face, honest political parties – which do not sell their soul to corrupt businesses – receive almost no funding.
[bctt tweet=”Some people object to state funding, arguing that politics is a social service.” username=””]
 
State funding on per vote basis is a simple and transparent solution. It is transparent. It is incentive-compatible. It has been successfully implemented in many countries. SBP suggests a reimbursement of Rs.20 per valid vote cast to the relevant candidate up to a maximum of Rs. 70 lakhs per parliamentary constituency. This calculation can be refined.

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Along with this, the security deposit will need to be increased significantly to ensure that only serious candidates contest elections. MP and MLA salaries will need to be significantly raised, while eliminating all perks and pensions.
 
Some people object to state funding, arguing that politics is a social service. It is preposterous to suggest that those who serve us as electoral representatives should be required to lose their lifetime’s savings “for the country’s sake”. The current system is fundamentally misguided. The results are there for all to see. Everyone who comes to power is guaranteed to become corrupt.
 
In the reformed system, even though corrupt candidates will probably still outspend honest candidates, good candidates will start participating since their risk of bankruptcy is reduced. That is enough to start changing the system. Such a payment by taxpayers is excellent value to taxpayers, for the opportunity cost of corruption and incompetence is in the tens of trillions of dollars – more than ten times India’s GDP. We have been short-changed by corrupt and incompetent representatives for seventy years. Let’s give the honest people of India a chance.
 

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Mr Sonawani said that SBP strongly supports Mr Modi’s suggestion for state funding – but only on a per vote funding basis. It is important, however, to emphasise that it is not sufficient to implement only this reform. A range of fundamental reforms, as detailed in SBP’s manifesto, are needed in order to make the country a sone ki chidiya once again.

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“I Shouldn’t Be Dragged Into Politics”, Says Singer Adnan Sami

Soon after Sami was declared one of the Padma Shri recipients of the year, many felt he shouldn't have been given the award because he originally hails from Pakistan

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Adnan Sami
Soon after Sami was declared one of the Padma Shri recipients of the year, many felt he shouldn't have been given the award because he originally hails from Pakistan. Wikimedia Commons

Singer Adnan Sami has lately been on a slamming spree against anyone who has questioned his Padma Shri win. He has now declared that he is a musician and he shouldn’t be dragged into political debates.

Soon after Sami was declared one of the Padma Shri recipients of the year, many felt he shouldn’t have been given the award because he originally hails from Pakistan. It was also pointed out that while Sami opted for an Indian citizenship only four years gao, his father is a Pakistani security force veteran who fought against India during the 1999 Kargil War.

Sami has earlier declared that he shouldn’t be held responsible for his father’s action. Asked how he looked at the fact that Indian Muslims continue to be made accountable for what the Mughals and other Muslim invaders did to Hindus over centuries, he said: “First of all, the best thing about history is that it’s past, and it should be kept in the past because that’s where it belongs. God gave us eyes to look forward and not backward. The most important thing is we should forget all that because nobody from that era is alive today to answer these questions — least of all you (the media) and I, or anybody for that matter.”

“Secondly, this is all about politics. I am not a politician. I am a musician. Just like you wouldn’t ask a politician about Raag Darbari, don’t ask me about politics. All I know is that I am a musician. I spread love through my music. Even those who have issues with me, do listen to my music, and I am cool with that. God bless them and the Mughals, the Britishers, the Mongolians, Alexander the Great — they may have died and they have done their bit, so let them rest in peace. Let’s look towards what we can do for our country instead,” said Sami, at the launch of his new song ‘Tu yaad aya’.

Adnan Sami
Singer Adnan Sami has lately been on a slamming spree against anyone who has questioned his Padma Shri win. He has now declared that he is a musician and he shouldn’t be dragged into political debates. Wikimedia Commons

Ever since his Padma Shri win, Sami has been facing social media ire. Among those who have objected is Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, who slammed the BJP government for conferring Padma Shri on Sami, who became an Indian citizen only four years ago. Shergill shared a video on Twitter in which he can be seen lashing out at the government.

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Shergill pointed out that on one hand, while retired Indian Army Junior Commissioned Officer Mohammad Sanaullah has been tagged as a “ghuspethiya” in the NRC list by the Centre, on the other hand, Adnan Sami, whose father fought against India during the 1999 Kargil War, has been honoured with the Padma Shri. (IANS)