The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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Report spots cash culprit in polls

Money plays a decisive role in Jharkhand’s democratic process, hinted a report released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch in Ranchi on Friday.

According to ADR’s findings, a whopping 99 per cent of donations received by Ajsu in 2004-05 and 2011-12 were from unknown sources.

Also, nearly 91 per cent of JVM’s income, 69 per cent that of JD(U)’s, 60 per cent of RJD and 57 per cent of JMM during the same periods were from “unknown donors”.

ADR founder and trustee Trilochan Sastry, who is in Ranchi for a two-day national conference beginning Saturday, told reporters that the meet would urge people not to sell their votes and refrain from exercising their franchise in favour of candidates with criminal antecedents.

“Polls are fought on issues raised by political parties. People’s issues are completely neglected. We will campaign for inclusion of such issues in the agenda of parties,” he added.

The conference will delve into crucial issues like need for electoral reforms, reducing money power in polls and the role of media in elections.

The chief election commissioner, former chief justices, representatives of various political parties, civil society members and mediapersons are expected to attend the meet.

Referring to the large percentage of income of political parties coming from unknown sources, Sastry said that the ADR had demanded full details of all donors for public scrutiny under the RTI Act.

Details of those who make donations to electoral trusts must also be made available in the public domain, he added, underscoring the need for free and fair polls in a six-decade-old democracy.

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