TRS favours state-funding of polls,political parties under RTI

Hyderabad: The ruling TRS in Telangana has favoured state funding of elections and bringing political parties under RTI once the electoral system is cleaned up.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) floor leader in Lok Sabha, A P Jithender Reddy said Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also supported the idea of state-funding of polls during his interactions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Definitely, it will come down,” he told PTI when asked if the move would reduce campaign expenditure.

“Election Commission is also bringing in reforms. And they are saying so-and-so action will be taken against the people (candidates) spending more amount (beyond prescribed expenditure limits). But what I suggest is same action should also be taken against the people (referring to voters) who take the money (bribe),” Reddy said.

He also favoured a ban on cash donations to political parties, arguing that when India is on a path to become a “cash-less society”, the system of accepting such money by way of cheques and electronic transfer should follow suit.

“Once all these things (state-funding and stopping of cash donations) get transparent (are implemented), then there is no problem of bringing political parties under RTI. After that (clean-up), political parties should be brought under RTI,” he said.

The TRS is also for simultaneous elections to State Assemblies and Lok Sabha, Reddy said.

He also called for setting up of special courts to try election-related offences in a time-bound manner.