Vice President of India, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has expressed his concern on the money dominating the democratic polity of the country in elections. He recently attended the conference on 'Money Power in Politics' which was organized by the Foundation for Democratic Reforms, Bharat Institute of Public Policy and the University of Hyderabad, in Hyderabad.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Naidu said, "Two glaring distortions (in democratic polity) need to be addressed by the political system with a sense of urgency and unity. The first is the use of enormous money power-often unaccounted for and illegal- in politics and elections. The second is the increasing attempts to entice the voters (by the governments) with short term benefits at the cost of long term goals of ensuring basic amenities, infrastructure, quality education and healthcare and growth and job opportunities."
"Unregulated higher election expenses foster corruption and threaten quality of governance through compromised policy making and administration besides undermining the fairness of the election process," he observed.
"Time has come for the idea of simultaneous polls to be seriously considered for its many advantages including reducing the costs of holding polls and spending by political parties," he added.
"There are certain apprehensions in some political parties that simultaneous polls may benefit some parties with larger support base and charismatic leadership to the detriment of others. This apprehension does not seem to be well founded as the Indian voter has demonstrated his maturity in voting," Mr. Vice President said.