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Is state funding of elections possible in India? What are its pros and cons?Elaborate.

Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2.  Is state funding of elections possible in India? What are its pros and cons?Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The debate on state funding on election has recently been revived particularly with the Election Commission informing the Government that it is not in favour of state funding of elections. The Election commission is of the view that it would not be able to prohibit or check candidates‟ expenditure over and above the state’s provision.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the possibility and effect of state funding of elections in India and its pros and cons.


Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


Briefly explain what is – State funding of elections.


Highlight about State funding of elections; brief history of the origin of the idea, its evolutions etc. The state funding of polls was recommended by the Indrajit Gupta Committee in 1998. The committee had suggested that state funding would ensure a level playing field for poorer political parties and argued that such a move would be in public interest. List out the merits of such a concept. Then move onto state that despite having some positive offshoot, the proposal is more unlikely to curtail the menace of corruption and it has too many systemic and other grey areas(state these cons) Discuss what needs to be done.


Conclude that the success of state funding depends on a strong regulatory framework, stringent punishments, a quick and effective judicial system, an alert and demanding electorate, a broad consensus on political ethics—all of which we woefully lack.