EVM- is fraud at play?

Pic: The Hindu
Pic: The Hindu

With the elections nearing, the debate regarding the veracity of an Electronic Voting Machine has begun once again. The Save Indian Democracy which had exposed the fraud that was being committed through an EVM says that despite so much that has been exposed the Election Commission of India has gone ahead buying an additional 2 lakh such machines.

Satya Dosapati of the Save Indian Democracy tells rediff.com that it is alarming that the ECI is buying 2 lakh additional machines. Moreover the combining of the state and parliamentary elections and the use of such machines will only create an environment for fraud.

Continue reading “EVM- is fraud at play?”

Advertisements

CBI- back to a caged parrot

Pic: ibnlive.in.com
Pic: ibnlive.in.com

The suggestion to grant autonomy to the Central Bureau of Investigation has been approved by the Union Cabinet, but a former director of the premier agency feels that it is a hoax and the parrot will remain in the cage.

Former director of the CBI, Joginder Singh says that it is nothing but a hoax and the measures that have been suggested to give the agency autonomy will not help in the long run. The proposal to set up a panel of judges to oversee the investigations will not help in my view. The CBI will be under these judges and in my view there is no autonomy in this move and the parrot will be back in the cage. Continue reading “CBI- back to a caged parrot”

Money power down in Bellary?

photo_5sThe man with the money wins Bellary, is what the general conception of this district is. However this time the money factor is relatively less and the Election Commission of India is watching the election spends like a hawk on a mission.

Many would believe that it would be money power that would decide the fate of the Bellary elections. However the bravado by the candidates is missing this time and there is a great deal of scrutiny by the Election Commission of India in respect of Bellary. There is a great deal of improvement where corruption in elections is concerned at Bellary. The last year, by this time, the Election Commission of India had managed to seize Rs 45 crore. This year the amount is Rs 10 crore.

Continue reading “Money power down in Bellary?”

How is not filing returns public interest

A three bench Central Information Commission (CIC), repeatedly questioned the representatives of the20 MPs whose IT returns were asked for under RTI, on how disclosing of their IT returns was not in larger public interest. The public information officers who denied the information stating lack of larger public interest and the representatives of MPs/ MLAs were invited for the hearing. While the appeal concerned 20 MPs / MLAs, the CPIOs / representatives of only 10 respondents appeared for the hearing to present their cases.
Of the 20 MPs whose IT returns were asked for under RTI, the details of only 3 MPs (Baju Ban Ryan (MP from Tripura East constituency of Tripura), Shafiqur Rahman Barq (MP from Sambhal constituency of Uttar Pradesh)and Usha Verma (MP from Hardoi constituency of Uttar Pradesh )were made available by the Public Information Officers (PIO). The IT returns of others MPs were denied under various sections, like 8(1)(j), 8(1)(d), 11(1) and 11(3) of the RTI Act. The RTIs of 7 MPs were transferred but lost in transit hence no information was available.

Continue reading “How is not filing returns public interest”

Vote for insurance- A new freebie

Speak of freebies during an election and the first thing that comes to mind is liquor and cash. How about an insurance cover for voters as an incentive to cast a vote?

This is something that has been adopted by Anjali Nimbalkar, wife of Hemanth Nimbalkar who is a senior IPS officer. This is however not the first time that such a incentive has been given to the voter. Balachandra Jariholi, who is a minister in the BJP government had provided a similar cover for all his voters. Continue reading “Vote for insurance- A new freebie”

Kar polls- ECI gets tough

Apart from requesting Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to urge the people of Karnataka to vote, the election commission has come out with a tough plan to counter the flow of money.
The EC has out out a very tough advisory which include the following.
Avoid carrying huge cash amounts and avoid huge transactions
Every poll observer has been given a local SIM card so that local persons can directly approach them in case of any complaint.
The EC will set up micro observers in each hyper sensitive polling booth.
All airports in Karnataka will be manned by Income Tax officials with CISF officials. This is to ensure that no money flows in through the airports.
The election commission also proposes to request Dhoni to make a public appeal to the voters of Karnataka to cast their vote in lareg numbers.

Look, who is voting for President of India

20120713-091951.jpg

141 with murder cases, 6 with a rape charge and 90 with charges of kidnapping will be among the many who will vote to decide the next President of India.
National Election Watch (NEW) has analyzed the affidavits submitted to the Election Commission of India of 772 out of 776 MPs and 4063 out of 4120 MLAs (a total of 4835 out of 4896) in all the states of India which forms the Electoral College and who will be voting on the Presidential Elections to elect the new President of India.
As per the ECI, a total of 1098882 votes can be cast in the Presidential Elections.
Based on the number of votes these 4835 MPs/MLAs can cast, NEW & ADR has analysed 1089287 votes out the total 109882 votes.
Out of the 4835 MPs/MLAs analyzed, 1448 members or 31 % have declared criminal cases against them in a self sworn affidavit filed with the ECI before their most recent elections.
Out of these 1448 voters who have declared criminal cases, 641 MPs/MLAs have declared serious criminal cases like rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc.
There are 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared rape charges in their self sworn affidavits submitted to the ECI at the time of filing their nomination. There are 141 MPs/MLAs who have declared murder charges, 352 have declared attempt to murder charges, 145 have declared theft charges, 90 have declared kidnapping charges and 75 have declared dacoity charges.
Tainted Votes: Based on the number of votes that these tainted MPs/MLAs are entitled to cast, a total of (31%) or 335089 votes out of 1089287 analyzed are of MPs/MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves on self sworn affidavits submitted to the ECI at the time of filing their nomination papers for elections.
Among state assemblies, based on the number of tainted MLAs, the maximum number of tainted votes are from Uttar Pradesh which has 39312 out of 83824 votes analyzed (189 out of 403 MLAs) who have declared criminal cases at the time of submission of their self sworn affidavits to the ECI, followed by Maharashtra with 25550 out of 50225 votes analyzed (146 out of 287 MLAs) and Bihar with 24047 out of 41693 votes analyzed (139 out of 241 MLAs) who have declared criminal cases.
In terms of percentage of tainted votes, among state assemblies, Jharkhand has the highest % of tainted votes with 74% or 10560 out of 14256 votes (60 out 81 MLAs analyzed) followed by Bihar with 58% or 24047 out of 41693 votes (139 out of 241 MLAs analyzed) and Maharashtra with 51% or 25550 out of 50225 votes (146 out of 287 analyzed).
Votes of MPs/MLAs based on financial details
A total of 2322 out of 4835 MPs/MLAs analyzed i.e. 48% are crorepatis as per their self sworn affidavits submitted to the ECI at the time of nomination for contesting elections.
Crorepati Votes: Based on the number of votes these crorepatis MPs/MLAs are entitled to cast, a total of 54% or 585918 out of 1089287 votes analyzed are of MPs/MLAs who are crorepatis.
Amongst state assemblies, Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of crorepati votes with 56368 out of 83824 votes analyzed followed by Maharashtra with 34650 out of 50225 votes analyzed and Andhra Pradesh with 25308 out of 42772 votes analyzed.
In terms of Percentage, among state assemblies, Goa has the highest percentage of crorepatis voters with 92% or (37 out of 40 MLAs analyzed) followed by Punjab with 86% (101 out of 117 MLAs analyzed) and Haryana with 72% (65 out of 90 MLAs analyzed) crorepatis voters.
Women Representation
As per the data from ECI, out of the total 4896 MPs/MLAs who are entitled to vote in the upcoming Presidential Elections, only 418 or 9% are women.
Based on the number of votes the MPs/MLAs are entitled to vote, the total number of women votes is 10% or 113145 out of 1098882 votes.
Among MPs, Lok Sabha has 11% or 41772 votes out of 384444 from 59 women MPs and Rajya Sabha has 10% or 16284 out of 164964 from 23 women MPs.
Among State assemblies, West Bengal has the maximum amount of women votes with 12231 votes out of 44394 (34 out of 294 MLAs), followed by Uttar Pradesh with 6656 votes out of 83824(32 out of 403 MLAs) and Bihar with 5882 votes out of 42039 (34 out of 243 MLAs).
In terms of percentage, among state assemblies, the highest percentage of Women votes is from Bihar with 14% (34 out of 243 MLAs) followed by Rajasthan with 14% (28 out of 200 MLAs) women votes and West Bengal with 12% (34 out of 294 MLAs).
(pic-karol-bagh.com)

Elections-2011-Spendthrifts and misers

The manner in which the MLAs have spent during the recent assembly elections is something that needs to be looked into. Take for instance Tamil Nadu where the figures just do not match up.

The cash seized by ECI’s expenditure observers reached record levels in the last elections, with more than Rs 60 crores seized just from Tamil Nadu. However the analysis show that 76 MLAs declared that they did not spend any money on public meetings, processions etc. This despite each party and candidate claiming huge crowds in their rallies during elections.In Assam 126 MLAs together claim to have spent Rs 9.01 Lakhs, Kerala – Rs 9.39 Lakhs (139 MLAs), West Bengal – Rs 7.06 Lakhs (217 MLAs) and Tamil Nadu – Rs 7.12 Lakhs (234 MLAs), Puducherry – Rs 3.12 Lakhs (39 MLAs).This means that MLAs are claiming that the money spent by them in the recent elections on an average was way below the expense limit. It is 56% for Assam, 50% for Kerala, 39% for Puducherry, 44% for West Bengal and only 45% for Tamil Nadu.

In just one raid, Rs 5.11 crore were seized from a private bus in Tiruchirappalli. In another raid in Madurai, Rs 3.5 Crores were seized, however the highest expenses reported by any MLAs is mere Rs 15.99 lakhs. The top three declarations across the 5 assemblies are from Abu Taher Bepari of INC from Golakganj, Assam(Rs 15.99 lakhs), Smiti Monika Bora of INC from Gohpur, Assam (Rs 15.91 lakhs) and K.T. Pachaimal of AIADMK from Kanniyakumari, TN(Rs 15.73 lakhs).

The lowest expenses declared are by A Soundararajan of CPI(M) from Perambur, TN (Rs 75.6 thousand) followed by Namita Saha of AITC from Magrahat Purba, WB(1.14 Lakhs) and Kashinath Mishra of AITC from Bankura, WB(Rs 1.35 Lakhs). This is in spite of reports of large number of reports of distrubtion of freebies from across the states.

While there was huge discussion on paid news, most MLAs (376 of them) have declared that they did not spend ANY money on campaign through electronic/print media.

183 MLAs declared that they have not spent any money on campaign workers.

While most vehicles were found to be rented during elections and candidates travel in large cavalcades, 8 MLAs have declared that they did not spend any money on vehicles.

10 MLAs have declared that they did not spend any money on any type of campaign materials. 

The election expenses of all MLAs for the recent 5 assembly elections have now been analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms in association with the National Election Watch. The candidates were to declare all of them within 30 days of election(by 13 June). It took ECI another week to put the scanned copies of them on the web (Jun 20).

There are still 2 days for people to critically analyse these expenses and challenge election of a MLA on under-reporting/hiding expenses.

Although the money power was blatantly at display during the recent elections, the new MLAs to these assemblies (TN, WB, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry) have shown the average amount of total money spent in their election to be only between Rs 3.12 lakhs and Rs 9.39 lakhs (39% and 59% of the limit) in their declarations to the Election Commission of India. Top three spenders from each state: Assam:Abu Tehar Bepari of the Congress spent Rs 15.99 lakh Monika Bora, Congress- Rs 15. 91 lakh Dr Nazrul Islam, Congress- Rs 15. 12 lakh

Kerala:

Basheer, Muslim League- Rs 15.24 lakh

Kunjalikutty, Muslim League-Rs 13.99 lakh

B Sathyan, CPI(M)- Rs 13. 80 lakh

West Bengal:

Smita Bakshi, All India Trinamool Congress- Rs 15.66 lakh

Hamidul Rehman, Independent- Rs 15.21 lakh

Amal Acharjee, AITC- Rs 14.16 lakh

Tamil Nadu:

Pachaimal, AIADMK- Rs 15.73 lakh

Dr Krishnasamy, Puthiya Thamilagam- Rs 15.35 lakhAnita Radhakrishnan, DMK- Rs 15. 04 lakh

Puducherry:

 E Valsaraj, Congress, Rs 5.30 lakhG Nehru, All India N R Congress- Rs 5.12 lakh M Chandrakasu, All India N R Congress- Rs 4.49 lakh

The lowest:

A Soundarajan of CPI(M) from Perambur Constituency in Tamil Nadu- Rs 75000

Namita Saha of the AITC, from the Magrahat Purba constituency in West Bengal- Rs 1.14 lakh

Kashinath Mishra of the AITC from the Bankura constituency in West Bengal- Rs 1.34 lakh

The zero spenders:

Bhupen Ray (AGP- Assam), P R N  Thirumurugan (Congress, Puducherry), A R Ranganathan (AIADMK-Tamil Nadu) and 73 others have declared that they have not spent a single penny  for public meetings, processions etc. There are 376 MLAs from all five states who have stated that they have not spent anything on campaign through electronic/print media. 183 MLAs have stated that they have borne zero expenditure on campaign Workers during the elections. Eight MLAs have declared that they have not spent any money on the use of vehicles during campaigns while 10 have stated that they have not used any money for campaign material.