Shivraj Patil favours govt funding of elections
New Delhi: Punjab Governor and former home minister Shivraj Patil on Monday favoured government funding of elections as part of a wide ranging electoral reforms process for an "effective" Parliamentary system which can satisfy the aspirations of people.
Holding that money and muscle power are coming in the way of good governance, he said the reforms process was necessary to have the kind of MPs who would "give strength to the Parliamentary system".
"If it is possible, elections should be funded by the government and it is possible in my opinion," he said at a function here.
Government could organise meetings where all the candidates could address the public, and instead of having separate rallies, only one public meeting would suffice, he said.
Besides, government could also buy time in the TV channels for the candidates to address voters, he said.
Patil was also in favour of making voting compulsory for every citizen, an exercise which, he said, is being followed in Australia.
"According to my views, a person should be penalised or be subjected to punishment should he fail to vote," he said.
Patil also advocated a fixed tenure of Parliament and other bodies to stop multitude of elections every year and said elected candidates should have 50 per cent of the votes to be declared elected.
Expressing concern over the Naxal menace, Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar felt the threat from Maoists was one of the biggest "dilemmas of democracy and development".
He said a strong Panchayati Raj system alone can tackle Naxalism.
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