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Money in elections root cause of corruption: ex-CEC Quraishi
Sunday December 21, 2014 9:29 AM, IANS

Money generated from scams has begun to play a role in the polling process in India while the need for funds for election is the root cause of corruption, former chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said Saturday.

Quraishi said scams related to money are one of the new issues plaguing the electoral process and monitoring the funds prior to the electoral process is a "problem".

"Absolutely a money in elections has become the root cause of corruptions in the country because if you spend crores in fighting the elections. then you have to collect the crores of rupees," Quraishi said here in response to a question on involvement of funds from scams, like the Saradha chit fund scam, in elections.

He was speaking at the launch of his book "An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election" here.

Quraishi stressed money leads to a nexus between bureaucracy and politicians.

"When you come to power, you come to bureaucracy and say that I have to return the money... you say there be will extra money for you and me and then the political and bureaucracy nexus begins.

"Then it becomes very difficult to stop," he said.

Quraishi admitted vigilance of scam related money prior to elections is a "problem."

"This is one of the newer problems that we are facing. That is a problem because the Election Commission codes comes into action the day the elections are announced," he said, adding solutions are being contemplated.

Former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi termed "permeation", "complete fairness", "technological evolution", "awareness" and "great equality" as pillars of pride of the electoral process.

However, he also listed "pillars of shame" such as money, muscle power, communication (verbal abuse) and divisiveness.

"The quality of elections is gross undermined by the misuse of money," Gandhi lamented.

Echoing Gandhi's sentiments, Harvard historian and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose shed light on the contribution of corporate sector to elections, the trend of paid news and "huge problem" of "criminalisation" of the polling process.

"There is a detailed discussion on paid news in this book but we need to link the discussion between money power in elections and media in elections because one has to wonder on the corporatisation of media," he said.

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