Bringing Electoral Reforms in India: Some Suggestions

Bringing Electoral Reforms in India: Some Suggestions

Question - Electoral system can only be free and fair if large scale reforms are undertaken. Discuss the various steps which can be taken by the government for initiating electoral reforms in India.

• Currently, the EC does not have independent staff. In the event of elections, it relies on central/state government employees which creates complications such as political allegiance and loyalties of the staff, dual demands on them from within the administration as well as the EC

• Disciplinary control over independent staff is also easier; EC should have permanent electoral administration with control over staff

• Efficiency of the EC should be enhanced

• CEC should not be controlled by executive or parliament; he should be independent to ensure objectivity and impartiality

• Political corruption should be combatted

• Funds should only be provided to genuine candidates

• Mass media should not lean towards political sides and ensure impartial coverage of electoral process

• Voter secrecy should be maintained so that vote giving public can be impartial and honest

• Law must be passed in parliament to deal with delisting valid electorates from electoral rolls

• Electoral rolls should be prepared with accountability and transparency
• Names of genuine voters should be included in electoral rolls at the time of vote casting

• Voters and politicians need to be law abiding; effective deterrents must be in place

• Model Code of Conduct should be strictly applied by the EC

• Voters list should be prepared well in time to prevent vote rigging

• Violations of electoral process should be strictly punished by the judiciary

• Election results must be mandatorily declared

Facts and Stats

• Voting in the 2014 General Elections commenced on April 7

• More than 814 million Indians voted in this election

• Voting was held in 10 stages and there were 930,000 polling stations

• UP had the most number of eligible voters namely 134 million; Sikkim had the lowest (362,000)

• 3% of Indian voters in this election or 23 million were in the age group 18-19

• UP had the most LS seats; the least was a single seat for the following states: Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and the UTs

• 15th LS: 78% of those elected were either graduate, postgraduate or doctorates
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