What's New :
History Foundation 2022 (Batch - 6): Batch will be started from 10th December, 2021
Public Administration Foundation 2022 (Batch - 7), New Batch will be started from 13th December, 2021
Political Science Foundation 2022 (Batch-4), Batch will be started from 09th Dec, 2021
IAS Foundation 2023-24: New Batch will be started from 14th December, 2021

Electoral Reforms

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Jan, 2020

Recently, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has termed Indian experience with democracy as a remarkable success story. However, he also pointed out two distortions in the form of enormous money power in politics and elections and the increasing attempts to entice the voters with freebies that hurt Indian democracy.

Issue

Context:

Recently, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has termed Indian experience with democracy as a remarkable success story. However, he also pointed out two distortions in the form of enormous money power in politics and elections and the increasing attempts to entice the voters with freebies that hurt Indian democracy.

Background

Constitutional articles related to electoral reforms:

  • Article 324-329 deals with elections and electoral reforms.
  • Article 324 deals with the Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
  • Article 325 states that no person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex.
  • Article 326 deals with the Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
  • Article 327 provides power to the Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures.
  • Article 328 provides power to Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
  • Article 329 provides to create a bar on court to make any interference by courts relating to electoral matters.
  • Electoral reforms refer to the development and benign change in election processes in India in order to facilitate better democracy, clean politics, ideal members of legislative houses, equality of representation and so on. Articles 324-329 deal with elections and electoral reforms. Electoral reforms are required to uphold the aspiration of our ancestors, to accomplish the ideals of our constitution and to have a true democracy in letter as well as in spirit by conducting fair elections.
  • Among the MPs elected to the 16th Lok Sabha, out of the 542 winners analyzed, 185(34%) winners have declared criminal cases against themselves. 112 (21%) winners have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.  (Association for Democratic Reforms report)
  • ADR also underlined that the chances of candidates with criminal charges were almost double as compared to clean candidates. The chances of winning of a candidate with criminal cases in the Lok Sabha 2014 elections are 13 percent while for a candidate with a clean record it is 5%.
  • The Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms, in 1990, highlighted the crippling effect of money and muscle power in elections.
  • The N. Vohra Committeewhich submitted its report in October 1993 studied of the problem of criminalization of politics and the nexus among criminals, politicians, and bureaucrats in India. The committee had concluded that agencies, including the CBI, IB, RAW, had unanimously expressed their opinion that the criminal network was virtually running a parallel government.
  • The Law Commission of India, in its 244th report, said that instead of politicians having suspected links to criminal networks, as was the case earlier, it was persons with extensive criminal backgrounds who began entering politics. The Law Commission said that in the 10 years since 2004, 18% of the candidates contesting either national or State elections had criminal cases against them.
  • 18th Report presented by a parliamentary committee to the Rajya Sabha in March 2007 expressed feeling that politics should be cleansed of persons with established criminal background”. It said, “criminalization of politics is the bane of society and negation of democracy”.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.
Enquire Now