Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fund Candidate not Parties!!!

Yes the idea of “Fund Candidate not Parties” is not an issue in this election, but it is a matter of time. 

Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi Rajindar Sachar saysA straightforward, honest, equitable solution is to ban the corporate funding of political parties, as in the US and the UK. Clean politics mandates this as a minimum prerequisite for all political parties. Let the electorate demand that the manifestos of the parties include such a provision. Let them give a straight answer immediately.” 

He also gives a brief history of how corporate funding ruled out:

  • It is beyond doubt that contributions by companies are given not because of any ideological reason but as a device to be in the good books of the ruling party. Thus, between 1966 and 1969, as many as 75 companies paid down Rs 1.87 crore out of which Rs 144 lakh was given to the ruling party. The ruling Congress party in 1967 alone received Rs 87 lakh. 
  • Perception and reality have not changed. Thus we find that in 2003-2004 the BJP got Rs 90 crore as against the Congress’s Rs 65 crore. The peak of the BJP was Rs 155 crore in 2004-05, down to Rs 137 crore in 2007-08. The rise in the share of the Congress during this period was phenomenal, starting from 2002-03 at Rs 53 crore, upswinging to Rs 265 crore in 2007-08. More significant, the corporate-political nexus is illustrated by corporate donation to the BSP of Ms Mayawati rising in 2002-03 from Rs 10.9 crore to Rs 55.6 crore in 2007-08. Does one need more proof of invidious entry of the corporate sector in our body-politic and of the dangerous consequences.

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