The Election Commission has announced the calendar for assembly elections in five states.
Among them, two announcements are very important and in the national interest.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar has announced a mandatory rule that political parties fielding tainted and alleged criminal faces as candidates will publish their complete details in three local, popular newspapers.
The parties will also clarify what i the compulsion to make a tainted or accused person a candidate? Couldn’t another candidate have been selected?
In this context, there are reports that about 44 percent of the MLAs are tainted or have criminal records. About 20-25 percent of MPs also have criminal records.
This rule has been decided by the Election Commission after communication with all the major parties. For the first time, an effort is being made to curb the criminalization of politics and ensure that our public representatives are not accused of serious allegations, taints and financial scams.
A transparent and public mechanism has been set up for this. Now it will be clear to the public which candidate is tainted and accused. Its results will be visible to the country.
The second important decision of the Election Commission is in view of the country’s economy.
The Commission has directed political parties to fill a form detailing what will be the financial implications of the guarantees given or populist promises of ‘freebies’ made during elections. How much do they affect the financial condition of the country or state?
Political parties will make a rough estimate of this and give it to the Election Commission. The Commission’s clarification is that this is being done with a view to protecting the right of the voter, but the financial implications or intent of the directions are not practical. ‘Freebies’ is not defined in politics.
If 81 crore Indians are being distributed free 5 kg food grains per month, farmers are being given an annual honorarium of Rs 6000, there is ‘Ujjwala’ scheme for ‘free’ gas cylinders, then on the other hand, Aam Aadmi Party’s National Convenor Kejriwal announced schemes to provide 200-300 units of free electricity, water, treatment, some free education etc and while he is doing politics across the country, other major parties including Congress have also started giving such guarantees in order to win the elections.
Lump sum amount is also being given to women and elderly people. Apart from these, such attractions as scooter, mangalsutra, bicycle, laptop, unemployment allowance, food for Rs 5, TV, sarees etc. are being offered, which directly affect the elections.
The political trend to waive off farmers’ loans also continues. Of course, our country’s GDP growth rate is good, but there is also a debt of more than Rs 150 lakh crore.
Most of the states are burdened with debt. These have become quite high in proportion to GDP. The Central Government has included most of the projects in the budget and their funds have also been allocated, but the budgetary provisions for guarantees of the states are negligible, as a result the debt of the states and especially the electricity boards is increasing.
In the context of the Election Commission’s decision, the first question is on what basis will the form be made?
Whatever estimates the parties give, will they be correct and accurate or not? However, the economy rule should be revisited and studied by the Commission.