Mamata for electoral reforms, cash-free polls
Kolkata, August 14 (IANS) Observing that corrupt practices were rampant in India's electoral process particularly in the northeast, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday called for electoral reforms.
"Today valueless politics has become the order of the day. Why do we have to beg for money during elections? I am sorry to say, but in many northeastern states voters are bought with money. One who pays the most wins the elections," said Banerjee.
Speaking in the West Bengal assembly during its platinum jubilee celebrations, Banerjee said the democratic fabric of the country had been weakened by corruption, which was leading to lawlessness.
"Where is democracy today? Accountability should be for everybody. We need to strengthen democracy because a weak democracy leads to rise in lawlessness. We need an electoral process where money would play no role," she said.
She said in states like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, voters were bought for money while in a state like Tamil Nadu candidates spent over Rs.20 crore in election campaigns.
"In spite of their desire, good people refrain from entering politics because huge money is required for that. We need immediate electoral reforms so that these corrupt practices are weeded out," said Banerjee.
She added that West Bengal was the only state where the least amount of money is involved during elections.
"The media often twists facts. There is a deliberate attempt to harass the executive. People often indulge in blaming the politicians for everything. But is accountability only for politicians? Accountability is something which should apply to anybody and everybody," added Banerjee.
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