I have a theory that the major cause of corruption in Indian politics is because there is no Audits on Election Expenses.
1) Going by the conservative estimates, each MP requires 3 million Rupees (30 lakhs) to fight election. So a national party fielding 550 candidates require 1650 million.
2) MLA requires 1 million, but are 4 times more in number 2200 million
3) Gram Panchayat/ municipality corporate require at least 30,000/- so another 2640 million.
So the total cost is approximately 6490 million. Please note that this does not include cost to motivate your workers, summon goons for booth capturing, horse trading, sabotage opposition, buying rally members/slogan chanters and distribute booze to win the votes.
Assuming we have elections every 3 years, each national party requires spending of about 4000 million each year to maintain its ranks. This includes only legitimate and accountable spending. When I add up clandestine operations, horse-trading, rewards etc., this figure can go up many folds.
* Where do you get so much of funds?
Though some candidates like Vijay Mallya exist who can pay for their own expenses, but I am still born and brought up with an image that an honest and able candidate lives in poverty. (After all an elected member of the state earns only 2-3 thousand a month and cannot hold another office of profit)
Most PSU and banks have a cash handling allowance. All tellers/cashiers dealing with large quantities of cash are given some extra income so that they stay honest. (I do not know if it works, but the intention is appreciation worthy) Then why is a cabinet minister who with a stroke of a pen can make and destroy billions of rupees paid only 10,000/- p.m. Even unskilled graduates fresh out of college earn more.
Remember a party might fund some deserving candidates for their election campaign. But once they get elected, they want their money back and no one tells them how!
I have met lots of strong supporters to a political party/leader. But I am yet to meet a single individual who has voluntarily donated even a single rupee to a political party. (Voluntarily = no kick-backs) So how does the funding works?
1) You have lobbyist (even the small merchants in the markets have a union/lobby these days) who pays for every expenses
Well there could be a 3rd way. For any candidate getting more than 20% of the votes, the government can reimburse some of the party expenses. In return they could ask for a detailed account of the spending.
I am not asking you to give a dole of cash. Pay for the legitimate bills on fuel, food coupons, office space, telephone, banner space etc.
We might be never able to weed out corruption from our system in a lifetime, but surely we should make a provision that an honest man can survive honestly. Let’s not force him to compromise with his consciousness.