In Indian elections till about a decade ago booth capturing was the biggest problem. With time and efforts of election commission booth capturing was almost eliminated but electoral funding still remains a looming threat to our democratic system. Fighting elections is a costly affair and the expenditure limits set up by election commission are unrealistic and barring a few almost all parties take anonymous donations from affluent business class and which is mostly tax evaded money. Obviously, donations from businessmen are paid back in terms of skewed policies and biased decisions in their favour. Demonetisation along with the budgetary announcements by FM is a crucial step to reduce the amount of anonymous donations to parties from twenty thousand to two thousand rupees to curtail black money into politics.
Dravidian political parties are known to win elections on money power; one of them hardly conducts public meetings and only distributes money as evident in R K Nagar by poll caused by Jayalalithaa’s death. Parties in Maharashtra are famous for giving tickets to real estate businessmen and mint their money. Similarly, UP is also known for regional parties using black money to fund elections by selling tickets. Measures like demonetisation are set to deliver a big jolt to many of them as was evident in UP elections where some parties had less money to spend. Use of tax evaded money for donation to political parties to get undue favours in return is set to reduce in the times to come.
Demonetization will cause a cash crunch for political parties as most of them depended on black money. This would in turn open the debate for much needed electoral reforms that’s been pending for long and ultimately may be a step towards the cleansing of the system.