NPP Supremo meets CEC, presses for state funding of elections & drastic electoral reforms

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party met Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. V.S.Sampath in New Delhi and urged to introduce revolutionary and immediate electoral reforms to save electoral process from total collapse. He said that the entire electoral process has become a tool in the hands of criminals and business houses who have almost managed to grab Parliament and power. He has suggested important measures for state funding of the elections to the State and Central legislatures by keeping the communal, criminal and busybodies outside the political arena.
In his letter to the CEC the NPP leader said,
1.    “The maximum election expenditure limit of Rs.25 lacs has been fixed for a candidate in a Lok Sabha constituency. It is unbelievable that a candidate fighting a winning election battle could contest his/her election with Rs.25 lacs.
2.    I take the example of some Lok Sabha Constituencies e.g. Udhampur (J&K), Vellore (T.N.), Amethi (U.P.), Bharatpur (Rajasthan) & Cooch Behar (W.B.).
i).    Udhampur Lok Sabha Constituency is having 1972 polling stations. On the last day of election a candidate needs at least 2000 election-symbol banners. At least two polling agents for each station. There are more than 50% polling stations in the constituency where a polling agent has to walk 5/6 kms. to reach the polling station. It would cost at least Rs.1000/- for each polling station to arrange a banner and the actual expenditure of polling agents. Roughly, the expenditure at the polling stations shall not be less than 2000 x 1000 = 20,00,000/- (Twenty lacs).
ii).    There are 17 Assembly segments in the Lok Sabha constituency. Even a poor candidate shall require one vehicle for each Assembly segment for 20 days. The actual expenditure of a vehicle for a day would cost not less than Rs.3000/- (Fuel + driver + rent of the vehicle). It shall amount to
3000 x 20 = 60,000 x 17= 10,20,000/- (Ten Lacs twenty thousands)
iii).    Even a weak candidate would need five lacs posters, equal number of pamphlets. It shall not cost less than Rs.10,00,000/- (Ten lacs).
iv).    Even if a candidate organizes one public meeting in each Assembly segment it will not cost less than Rs.1,00,000/- (one lac) per meeting. This amount also shall go beyond Rs.17,00,000/-  (Seventeen lacs).
v).    I am not including the expenditure which shall occur for food, drinks, hotels, accommodation and other public relations at all.
This is the minimum expenditure that would be required by an average candidate contesting the Lok Sabha election in a normal situation. This amount has been estimated as 57,20,000/-  (Fifty Seven Lacs Twenty Thousands).
3.    This is respectfully submitted that each winning candidate would not hesitate to put all his efforts to win over his electorates. Those persons/ candidates/MPs who have courage to speak about the expenses they incurred during the election beyond the maximum limit deserve appreciation rather than condemnation for speaking the truth.
4.    Besides, I challenge, that a candidate set up by the national parties would not spend less than Rs.10 crores in his election. Rather this is normal expenditure.
5.    Assuming for argument sake that a candidate spends Rs.25 lacs only in his election and manages to win Lok Sabha seat. Can he compensate his expenses he incurs from his salaries as a Member of Lok Sabha. The maximum salary of an MP draws is Rs.50,000/- per month. Supposing the MP lives in saintly manner does not eat and drink at all, does not feel his dependents and does not spend any amount for his social activities, he would earn Rs.50,000 x 12 x 5 = 30,00,000/- (Thirty Lacs). The question arises from where and from which source the poor MP shall raise money to balance his debts.
6.    This is the grey area which has been encouraging MPs, Ministers and politicians to collect revenues from all desirable and undesirable sources. It could be 2G, 3G, Coal Sale, Commissions and whatever other known or unknown source shall be. This is also important that these are only the winning candidates who have to raise their revenues, those who loose election after spending beyond their income have to raise their revenues for the next elections. This way democracy is flourishing in India. Of course, in several other countries of the world.
7.    This is the root cause of political corruption and its seedling can not be demolished as long as a revolutionary change is brought in the electoral system. One of the measures which the Parliament should have taken or should take is to introduce state funding system for the candidates set up by the recognized parties. This exercise is very essential to check the flow of the black money which is the root cause of inflations and downfall of the country’s economy.
8.    It is not surprising that the Election Commission of India failed to take any cognizance in case of some Lok Sabha MPs who have admittedly spent more money in their respective Lok Sabha election than permitted under the law at present.
I suggest that the Chief Election Commission should organize an exclusive meeting of the representatives of all recognized political parties to generate a consensus on the subject of state funding. This is the only way to save democracy in the country from being paralyzed.”
The CEC appreciated the efforts of the revolutionary leader and founder of the Panthers Movement for the welfare of humanity.

Bhim Singh assures Panthers Party’s full solidarity with SSB Volunteers sitting in dharna at Jantar Mantar

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party was received by nearly 5000 SSB Volunteers at Jantar Mantar where they have been sitting on a protest dharna demanding full rehabilitation with dignity and honour.
While addressing SSB Volunteers in Jantar Mantar, the Panthers Party Founder, Prof. Bhim Singh urged Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India for his immediate intervention to approximately 40,000 SSB Volunteers spread in about 15 border states in the country including J&K, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and other states who have been fighting for justice from the streets to the Supreme Court for the past 15 years. Prof. Bhim Singh assured SSB Volunteers that he shall take up the matter with Prime Minister of India to ensure speedy justice.
Prof. Bhim Singh also addressed a letter to the Prime Minister of India seeking his intervention so that 40,000 SSB Volunteers could be settled and rehabilitated respectfully and honourably. He also referred the judgment of the Supreme Court which has directed the State and the Central governments to work out a scheme and project for their rehabilitation.

Hon’ble Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Sub:- Rehabilitation of SSB Volunteers protesting in Jantar Mantar.

Respected Prime Minister, Sir,
I am taking this liberty to bring the grievances of SSB Volunteers to your kind notice that there are about 40,000 SSB Volunteers in different states in the country who deserve to be settled/rehabilitated with dignity and equity.
I was surprised to see that nearly 5000 SSB Volunteers including women have been sitting at Jantar Mantar seeking redressal of their grievances. They hail from several bordering states including J&K, Punjab, Uttarakhand and other parts of the country.
1.    SSB Volunteers in Manipur & Tripura were comfortably rehabilitated except other states. There are 40,000 (approximately) volunteers who have been working/performing their duties till the organization was closed.
2.    It is also worthwhile to mention here that Sh. R.K. Singh, IAS, Union Home Secretary vide their DO letter No.DO. No.2/75/09/ITVs/Pers.III, dated 3rd Jan., 2012 and Dr. N.S. Kalsi, Joint Secretary (Police. II), Ministry of Home Affairs letter no.D.O. No.2/75/09/ITVs/Pers-III, dated 9th Jan., 2012 and thereafter Sh. Neeraj Kansal, Director (Pers), MHA vide No.2/75/09/ITVs/ Pers.III, dated 13th Feb., 2012 agreed in principles that these SSB Volunteers were a valuable and well trained resource and they should be utilized in a variety of projects/schemes as well.
3.    The HP & Punjab High Court decision, DG SSB framed a scheme for SSB Volunteers which was sent vide letter no.2/75/SSB/VIP/PERS-8036, dated 09.05.2011 to the Home Ministry in compliance to CWP 5080/2009 and CWP 103/2010, the court decision given by Divisional Bench decided by Hon’ble Chief Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice R.B. Mishra on 24.02.2010 and 26.02.2010 respectively. They give the judgment for absorbing the SSB Volunteers in paramilitary forces including Armed Forces. The High Court further directed the government to frame rules for the absorption of the volunteers vide Home Ministry’s letter No.2/75/09/ITVs/Pers/III dated 03.01.2012. The Chief Secretaries of 15 bordering states were also directed to frame schemes. Unfortunately, nothing happened.
4.    It is mentioned that the Supreme Court dismissed the Special Leave Petition for Appeal (Civil) No.8074/2001 of the Govt. of India. The Apex Court confirmed the High Court Order on 21.02.2003.
5.    The representatives of this group came to me to take up their case before the Supreme Court. I have decided to take up this case before Dr. Manmohan Singh, the gracious Prime Minister of India. I am sure the Hon’ble Prime Minister may depute some responsible persons to meet this group of SSB Volunteers resorting to dharna in Jantar Mantar.
6.    Justice needs to done and I am sure the Prime Minister may intervene.
With regards,
Yours sincerely,

Bhim Singh
Chief Patron