Discussion on how to clean up elections

Chennai: As crucial Assembly elections wrap up, the Kautilya School of Public Policy hosted the first episode in its series Let’s Talk Policy, discussing how India can improve its electoral process.

The panel touched upon some of the key topics ranging from transparency during elections, electoral bonds to the one nation one election theory.

Moderated by Nidhi Razdan, visiting faculty, the panelists included S Y Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner; Priyanka Chaturvedi, Member of  Parliament; Lalitha Kumaramangalam, BJP member and Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women and Jagdeep Chokkar, founder, Association of Democratic Reform.

The panelists discussed campaign financing and if names of those who donated to contesting political parties ought to be known.

The experts also touched upon the much talked about issue, transparency in elections and the need for practical solutions.

Other than the voter having the right to know who finances the contesting party during electoral campaigns, the idea of whether a one nation one election policy will further the country’s democratic process was raised.

Quraishi said, “If you ask the poor, they are happy with repeated elections as they get to see their leader. However, because of the repeated and prolonged mode of conduct, everything comes to standstill. The question is if the prolonged model disrupts normal activity, why are the elections being held for 3-4 months now.”

 

NT Bureau