Should the C&AG Audit the accounts of Political Parties?
Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Elections & Economic Change’ organised by the CFA Institute in Chennai, the former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami floated the idea of Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) auditing the accounts of all the political parties.
Pointing that all political parties had come together to oppose applicability of Right to Information (RTI) Act on them, he alleged that the election funding for political parties comes from looting the tax payers. He referred to a recent count of political parties in India as per which there are 1,594 political parties in the country for elections many of which were suspected fronts for illegal donations. He pointed to an instance where one of the political parties that had come under the suspicion of Election Commission was found to exist in an abandoned room in Ghaziabad. The funding of political parties has been under intense scrutiny from all sections of the society. Currently, the ceiling of expenditure per candidate is kept at Rs. 70 lakh.
For a fair election, the number of bogus candidates should be low which would also reduce the expenses on the number of EVMs needed in a booth. A single EVM can accommodate only 15 candidates ever since the None Of The Above (NOTA) option has come into existence.