New Delhi, Jun 7: Accusing the BJP's poll strategy of spending of huge money in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Congress on Friday demanded to set up a National Election Fund to which any person may make a contribution.
"Funds will be allocated at the time of elections to recognised political parties in accordance with criteria laid down by law", said Congress spokesperson Abhishek
Manu Singhvi while addressing mediapersons here at AICC headquarters.
Mr Singhvi, while quoting a study done by independent think tank, Centre for Media Studies, said that the BJP had spent close to Rs 27,000 crore in the Lok Sabha elections.
"This is 45 percent of the total expenditure which is estimated as more than Rs 55000 crore. And it is equal to 30 percent of India’s education budget, 43 percent of India’s health budget, 10 percent of India’s Defence budget, 45 percent of MGNREGA budget, more than the Rs 24000 crore which Narendra Modi government spent on Namami Gange -Ganga Cleaning in five years", Mr Singhvi said.
The Congress spokesperson alleged that the BJP's only strategy appeared to be "money, money and more money." "And at the end of the day, it is vital to correct the excessive commercialisation of Indian electoral process, because it creates distortions, and a squeeze on a supposedly level playing field and completely erode democracy at the base", he said.
He further said that "democracy after all as part of our basic structure, is based on free and fair elections, free and fair elections are based on level playing fields, level playing fields is based on broadly equal opportunity for all parties".
"Without a level playing field cannot have fair, independent, objective, non-partisan elections, and if you cannot have fair level playing field elections, then you cannot have democracy, and if you can’t have democracy, you cannot have the basic structure of the constitution", Mr Singhvi said.
He also pointed out that in 20 years, involving six elections to Lok Sabha between 1998 and 2019, the election expenditure had gone up by around six times from Rs. 9,000 crores to more than Rs. 55,000 crores.
"Today BJP is in power, and tomorrow will be any other party, it is not a question of party, it is bad for democracy itself. the sheer scale of this humongous expenditure should scare us and compel us to think of taking corrective steps to build a stronger democracy", Mr Singhvi added.