Changes in Campaign Finance Law Subject of Seminar in Patna

Seminar on political financing in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: Experts in election laws, under the banner of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) at Bihar Industries Association (BIA) hall in Patna on Wednesday, took part in a seminar to discuss various campaign finance laws and how they help or hurt candidates each election cycle in India.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Jagdeep S. Chhokar, founder member of the ADR, said that the amendments made in the Electoral Transparency Bill, 2017-2018, particularly the one that allows anonymous donation to a party or candidate, could lead to a lack of transparency as foreign donors could infiltrate the Indian electoral system thus eroding the intrinsic tenets of a democratic structure.

"Though it allows for complete anonymity, the doing away with the tradition of providing full details of campaign donation to a party could give rise to corruption as parties or candidates could receive donations from foreign powers that, in turn, could affect the outcome of an election," Chhokar said.

Another amendment in Section 29C of the Representation of People's Act, 1951, that reduces the cash funding from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2,000 could also lead to shady money in the Indian elections as candidates would be free to seek more donations in the form of cash, he said.

Former Director of the A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies D M Diwakar, former scribe Arun Kumar Pandey, and Patna High Court Justice Samarendra Pratap Singh also spoke on ways to reduce corruption and irregularities in the Indian electoral system while advancing transparency across the board.

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