Set limits on election expenditure : Prakash Karat
5 DARIYA NEWS
5 Dariya News
New Delhi , 09 Feb 2017
Denouncing "money power" during elections, the CPI-M wants a limit set on overall expenditure incurred by political parties during elections."Limits on election expenditure have to be set if the role of black money in elections is to be curbed," former CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat wrote in the journal "People's Democracy".An amendment in the Representation of People Act should be made to include expenditure incurred by the party on behalf of its candidates in the expenditure of the candidates, he said."All contributions of Rs 2,000 and above to political parties should be declared with details of the name of the donor and other details," Karat said."If electoral bonds are to be issued, then the party receiving them has to declare it with full details."Karat also called for provision of State funding for recognised political parties in the form of publicity material, manifestos, fuel for transport and so on. He sought strict action against those who donate black money to political parties and penalties on political parties for receiving such money.
In an article titled "Helping Big Money in Politics", Karat said neither the government nor the Election Commission were against big money flooding the political parties and the electoral system. "Their only concern is that it should be done legitimately. Both the BJP and the Congress are for corporate funding of political parties. They do not want any limits to be set on the expenditure incurred in elections."Karat said the steps proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to fund political parties "will not help curb the main problem of ... the enormous amounts of illegal or black money contributed to major parties". "In fact the measures proposed are regressive and will not in any way stem the use of black money in politics and elections."He said it would have been better to have provided that any donation of Rs 2,000 and above whether by cash, cheque or digital payment to be declared with the details as it is now in the case of Rs 20,000. The concept of electoral bonds contradicts the very aim of evolving a transparent method of funding, Karat said.