Cast my vote, Inspite of the Constitutional Anomalies prevailing in the Electoral Laws:John

Shillong, April 11: Mr John F Kharshiing said that there is urgent need to bring amendments to the Electoral Reforms to bring in transparent electoral processes in the country as large as India.There are numerous questionable anomalies in the present electoral processes in the conduct of MDC, MLA, MP Elections in India.

Mr Kharshiing  recall during 2010-11 participating in the 7th regional conference on Electoral Reforms, convened, hosted  by the Union Ministry of Law, Government of India, in Guwahati. This conference was presided over by the then Union Law Minister, Govt of India, in presence of Chief Ministers, Ministers, Political Parties from North East of India,

When it came to the turn from Meghalaya they have  presented their  suggestions before the gathering a few of which, they have suggested  to  reduce the 5year term to a 4year term, of all elected post such as Mayor, MLC, MDC, MLA and MP to provide a dynamic term. To have a 2term limit (4×2 =8years) for all elected post and office such as Mayor, MLC, MDC, MLA,  MP, CM or PM so as to allow space and to infuse dynamism and inovation  into governance from the 1.4 billion population.

To do away and abolish the MDC, MLA, MP, schemes as it is unconstitutional where elected officials meant to oversee, scrutinise govt spending and accounts themselves dole out contracts and in a number of cases become contractors and have vested interest in such contracts.

The winner in the electoral fray must get 75% of the total electoral votes of a constituency  and the run off process must continue till one gains such votes, and those getting below 25% must step aside during a run off.

To urgently bring in electoral funding for candidates and political parties so as to facilitate and encourage well intended individuals to participate in a transparent process, not like the present situation where it now requires 5crores in Meghalaya to be a serious contender to contest an MLA election and even much more for an MP election, which has made it laughable the cosmetic attempts by the Election Commission as this system is seen as nothing but a mockery of the spirit of free and fair elections.

The huge unaccounted expenditures during Indian elections and especially the latest cash seizures as per election stats reveal the depth of corruption prevailing which is plundered from public schemes. As on 1 April 2019 The Election Commission informs that  a total of Rs 340.78 crore suspect cash, Rs 143.84 crore worth of liquor, drugs valued at Rs 692.64 crore, gold and other precious metals worth Rs 255.93 crore and other freebies of Rs 26.84 crore have been seized.

This seizure of over 1460 crores in different forms exposes the total bankruptcy of the electoral laws in the country.To introduce term limits for party office bearers, enforce democratic reforms within political parties and to set up electoral funds for transparent internal party elections.

To ensure that parties announce probable candidates one year prior to elections so as to enable the electors the voters at the grassroots to throughly understand the policies and objectives of the candidates and their parties.To transparently display online the names and list of all active primary members of political parties to ensure transparency and debate within the political parties.

To enforce cheque payment only an to ban cash donations completely including displaying online the names and list of all doners starting from the lowest amount of 1rupee.To introduce a law whereby if one Lakh citizens sign a petition the Municipality,  District Council,  Assembly or Parliament must be convened to discuss and resolve the problems as highlighted in the petition.

These suggestions and many others submitted at regional conferences conducted all over the country are awaiting scrutiny. We do hope that the next Government at the center will seriously, swiftly bring in the much awaited electoral reforms to enable the citizens to truly believe it is participating in a functioning democracy.

 

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