We need limits on election campaign spending

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Election and RPA, Issue: Elections

Key issues in election campaign spending:

  • Uneven playing field: Government advertisements before elections often favor the ruling party.
  • No expenditure limits: on political parties during elections.
  • The illicit distribution of cash and the opaque nature of donations.
  • Still unaccounted electoral funding acquired through electoral bonds scheme.

Election reform proposed by Election Commission in 2016:

  • Ban on government advertisements from six months before elections.
  • Imposition of expenditure ceilings on parties, linked to candidate limits.
  • Appointment of additional judges in High Courts: for expeditious resolution of election-related cases.
+1 Advantage for Mains

Data Point:

·         A report by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS): 35% elections spending by parties was spent on campaigns, while 25% was distributed amongst voters illegally.


·         Indrajit Gupta Committee (1998) and Law Commission report (1999) recommended state funding of elections.


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