Election Reform

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Election Reforms in India and Challenges before the Election Commission March 23rd, 2012 → 12:35 pm @ Sia Shruti   
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Introduction
India is often referred as a vibrant and vigorous democracy. But just because we have elections regularly, or rather far too often, does not necessarily mean that we have an effective democracy. Election can be defined as a system by which voters or electors, select their representatives by casting of votes. It is a cardinal necessity of every democracy and Right to Vote is a Constitutional right of its citizens. The Constitution of India provides for an Election Commission of India which is responsible for superintendence direction and control of all elections. It is responsible for conducting elections to both the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures and for the offices of President and Vice-President. Inconsistencies in the Election System in India

India has experienced an epoch of elections for innumerable times and has undergone great transition crossing several upheavals, engrossed with numerous discrepancies. The way our legislature and State assemblies function, does not make us proud. One of the major causes for the unruly and unproductive functioning of the legislatures is the quality of people who find their way into the legislatures. The birth of scourges like communalism, corruption, under-development, poverty, etc. can be attributed to the unethical practices, our leaders indulge in. There persists a big swarm of burning issues hampering the democratic piousness and productive representation in our Indian society. The rampant issues bulging out as a handicap to election process are- * Dominance of money power and Muscle power

* Criminalisation of politics
* Financing of election exceeding the legal limit
* Booth capturing
* Intimidation of voters
* Buying Voters
* Tampered electoral rolls
* Large-scale rigging of elections
* Abuse of religion and caste in the enlistment of voters, etc The elections today more or less have become an ambitious investment venture, where everyone wants to try their hand at. Therefore each and every step of election process is packed with loads of inaptness as discussed below. History of Election Reforms in India

The journey of corruption in election process did not befall all of a sudden but gradually in a time span of several decades. Initially the requirement of money was felt for campaigning and since the majority voters were illiterate masses so, electioneering was required to be on a large scale. The candidates fetched support, aid and finances from criminals and muscle men. Generation and accumulation of money requires a robust support from the bureaucracy and these tend to encompass the bureaucracy too in the political web. After a while the criminals involved in non- bail able and cognizable offences themselves started participating in politics since they could easily win the elections by threats and coercion. The battle of ballot became battle of bullets. And when these kinds of people aspire to become the part of our honorary legislature, what better reforms can we expect from our government? Taking cognizance of these serious shortcomings several commissions came up with the proposal for reformation of Electoral process in India including Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms 1990, Vohra Committee Report 1993, Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections 1998, Law Commission Report on the Electoral Laws 1999, National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution 2001, Election Commission of India with Proposed Electoral Reforms, 2004 and the Second Administrative Reforms Commission 2008. These committees first outlined the alarming divergence and irregularities of the Election process and then made recommendations for its implementation. Challenges before the Election Commission and the Steps taken Taking into...
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