A decent electoral campaign is essential for communicating a message to the voters and to convince them to vote and that requires money. It is not possible for economically backward (poor) candidates to run their campaign effectively due to a lack of monetary resources. There is a need to provide an equal platform to all the candidates contesting for elections.
There are many people who are keen to provide financial support directly to genuine and promising but economically backward candidates but unable to do so due to unavailability of any opportunity or information. There is a need to create a web application linked with the website of the Election Commission of India where citizens can volunteer to provide financial aid directly to economically backward candidates contesting for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.
A donation app linked with the website of Election Commission of India can be created to bridge the gap between citizens willing to volunteer financial aid and the economically backward candidates contesting for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.
Each time ECI announces Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha election, applications asking for donations can be invited, along with the nomination forms, from the economically backward candidates. The applicants should have to submit an income certificate and an affidavit of no criminal record along with the application form. Once the applications are verified, the candidate’s identity details, education details, financial status and annual income details, constituency name, manifesto and blueprint of development for the constituency and details of a bank account can be uploaded on the website of Election Commission of India.
The app will then allow people to directly contribute and donate money in the bank accounts of the economically backward candidates.
Once the total contributions reach the amount of ₹5 lakh for Lok Sabha election and ₹2 lakh for Vidhan Sabha election, the details should be removed from the website so as to channelize further contributions to the next deserving case. The donors will be alerted if the amount exceeds the limit so that they divert part of the donation to another candidate’s account or to the “ECI” corpus. “ECI” corpus will be managed by the Election Commission of India which should decide to disburse the fund equitably to the economically backward candidates on a need basis.
On making a payment, an SMS can be sent to the candidate informing that such an amount has been contributed to their account. An SMS should also be sent to the contributor, on behalf of the candidate, acknowledging their contribution. There should be a provision for a certificate to be given to each contributor from Election Commission of India which can be downloaded from the website. Details of all candidates should be removed 48 hours before polling closes. Economically backward candidates can be searched by name, constituency, education, age group and economic status.
The beneficiary candidates should submit a campaign expenditure report to the Election Commission of India.
Economically backward candidates: Candidates contesting for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections having an annual income less than ₹1 lakh