The term ‘electoral reforms’ means the development and benign change in election processes, thereby the results would be fruitful, such as better democracy, uncorrupted politics, competent members in legislative houses, and so forth. The fact is, in India, elections consider as a significant part of politics in the democratic system.
There would be the outcome of a robust democracy system only if the elections don’t welcome any manipulation. But every year, due to some reason, it has been concluded that a democratic system doesn’t function flawlessly results in something is not accurate as expected.
Electoral reforms refer to the introduction of best practices in ensuring better democracy, clean politics, fair elections, ideal members of legislative houses, true representation and so on. Articles 324-329 of the Indian Constitution deal with elections and electoral reforms.
Hence, the process of electoral reforms focuses basically on expanding the core meaning of democracy, turning it more citizen-friendly, and more.
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Constitutional articles related to Electoral reforms
The Articles are commencing from 324 to 329 deals with elections and electoral reforms. Following, these have explained in detail:
- Article 324: It assigns to the Superintendence, direction, and control of elections to be endowed in an Election Commission.
- Article 325: It conveys that no candidate will be considered to be ineligible for inclusion in or to claim to be comprised in a special, electoral roll on the grounds of race, religion, age, caste or sex.
- Article 326: It states to the Elections to the House of the candidates and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the ground of adult suffrage.
- Article 327: It endows a power to the Parliament to create provision with respect to elections to legislatures.
- Article 328: It ensures power to the legislature of a state to create provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
- Article 329: It ensures the power to make a bar of the court to make any interference by the courts concerning electoral matters.
Motive behind the Electoral Reforms
The electoral reforms are established because of the following reasons:
- To create transparency about the background of the candidates
- To prohibit the connection between politics and business
- To keep the election process away from the control of the money power.
- To ensure a comfortable and secure environment to the candidates going to vote
- To offer a fair process of registration
- To provide fair recognition of the political parties
- To streamline the entire process of electoral rolls
- To offer solutions to illiterate voters who get de-listed
- To keep confidential the process of voters
- To assign the model code of conduct efficiently
- Expediting and rationalizing electoral processes
Causes of Electoral Reforms
The causes of Electoral Reforms have divided into two categories:
Even after the independence of India, the democratic process was kept continued. The fact is India was successful in conducting the elections at both national and state levels. After independence, this process had been going flawlessly, but during the fourth general elections in 1967, the election process started corrupting. During the fifth and thereafter general elections, the same corrupted process continued.
Even in the years the 1990’s and 2000’s, there was centralisation of power by the parties. Besides, it was noticed a gradual rise in units backed by family members associated with the internal politics within the parties.
All this has resulted in the party’s dependence on voters with their backing which can comprise grassroots mobilisation of the labourer or business contractors with financial fascination in the constituency.
All this has resulted in a reduction in the members of dynastic families in the 2014 Lokh Sabha. Still, it has noticed that the state and national parties have members of political lineages.
The fact is electioneering is an expensive affair still, it has a significant role in India. But the politics play a role like a devil in the electoral system which makes this system expensive. The elections in India have become expensive.
In simple words, the difference between the expenses incurred and legally permitted is rising over the years. The spectators have noticed that huge money collected through the doubtful means by political parties and their interested candidates.
Moreover, the overflowing of black money in the cash boxes of political parties has destroyed the system as the vote that is being taken is not as per the public opinion. It is like purchasing only. In addition, after the arrival of the money power, there is a rise in muscle power through violence, rigging’s, pre-election intimidation, booth representing both silent and violent are highly prevalent throughout the country.
With the rise in violence, the criminals are able to grab success at elections for their supporters. Besides, the above criteria, another significant factor arises is the criminalization of politics. At the time of an election period, the social media, as well as magazines and newspapers, are filled with information about the high volume of criminals in the fielded by every party.
The basic reason for these criminals keeps maintained their existence in the election is that they are able to gain influence as well as assure that they will never get arrested or register a case against them.
Moreover, these criminals are digging their existence in the elections to turn themselves big in the political arena as they have a very good power of finance. The fact is the tickets were not only offered to start or local parties but in favor of these criminals as well by the eminent National parties.
The Election Commission of India has tried to solve this problem as they put a limit against the participation of criminals as well as the investment of finance in elections. But all these amendments could not change or improve the overall environment of the Indian political system.
Hence, there is a need to change or advent more restricted rules and regulations in the Indian election process, thereby may be the shape of this committee gets improved, else, it goes into worsening day by day.
Need for Electoral Reforms in India
There is a huge need for electoral reforms due to the shunning of venomous people and malevolent activities they are involved in. The following in detail, the need for electoral reforms has described:
- The election process should not be imposed on contemporary/modish society
- To halt the misuse of the government machinery
- To stop the criminalization of politics
- To enhance the trust towards the electoral system in the eyes of citizens.
- To eliminate the non-serious candidates towards the election process. Besides, to teach the non-serious candidates to vote for whom they want as their leader.
- To make the election process neutral as well as free from all bias
- To convert the election system as per the modern technology, thereby the results will be accurate and reliable.
- In some cases, the candidates fight elections by taking two seats. The authorized officers have an eye on these candidates to pay the expenses of their second constituency as well.
Solutions to protect the Election process
There are some possible solutions which can protect the election system. These solutions are mentioned as below:
- The election body is not endowed to have an independent staff of its own. They should depend upon the staff of state and central government.
- The staff doesn’t consider doing dual tasks as it will ruin the working of the commission. Many times, multiple works assign to staff results in a confrontation between the ruling government and the commission.
- To improve the tasks of the election commission, the country’s top election body should assign the required duties in favor of Parliament. This commission should have an independent and individual election department to fulfill its goals and impartiality.
- To prevent corruption, sufficient funds must be given to the eligible candidates through political parties. Moreover, their accounts should be audited after a suitable time.
- The candidates who get caught for doing corrupted tasks should be disqualified as soon as possible after having a thorough proof.
- There should be a role of mass media as it should play a non-partisan part in the election.
- There should be an eye of corrupted parties which endow every person a right to vote independently and securely. Hence, there should no pressure of any kind to any person. In a case of any pressure, the person who is pressuring should be questioned.
- There should a rule for those whose names have been eliminated from the list of voting.
- The voter’s preference should be kept confidential.
- The electoral rolls should be checked properly. The officers who are appointed to supervise the electoral systems should be certified.
The election system in India should be restricted as much as possible, thereby the end results should be fruitful. Not only a single person will able to make amendments in the electoral system in India. There should be unity so that in a case of any illegal circumstance, the decision can be taken soon.