Business Standard

Why betting on elections won't be legalised

But purely as a theoretical exercise, consider a system where political parties are funded by government largesse. Such systems exist in most democratic nations - India is big exception to the rule

Loksabha elections 2019

A woman shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote at a polling station in Majuli

Devangshu Datta
One major problem with India being an electoral democracy is that it is a hugely expensive process. Quite apart from what the Election Commission (EC) claims it spends, it co-opts many bureaucrats from all cadres. Those babus being pulled off their normal tasks imposes large indirect costs.
In addition to what the EC spends, and the opportunity costs imposed, there’s the whole dirty business of campaign funding and spending. There are the large sums officially spent by political parties (and rich independent candidates). There are vastly larger “off-book” truckloads of cash spent on hiring goons, handing out illegal inducements
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Apr 27 2019 | 1:49 AM IST

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