In a bid to bring in transparency in donations to political parties, the government introduced electoral bond early this year. However, a large section of people still believe that donor anonymity should be removed. In an online survey, about 71% citizens said donor anonymity in electoral bonds purchase will encourage policy level corruption.
Online community platform LocalCircles conducted a survey to see what the general public thinks about the government’s move on introducing electoral bonds. The survey received more than 20,000 votes. The first question asked if citizens supported the introduction of electoral bonds for political funding. 80 per cent respondents agreed with it while 15 per cent disagreed with it. 5 per cent were unsure about it.
The government feels that electoral bonds would mean a banking trail will be created for all the donation that reaches a political party and the use of black money will decrease to a larger extent. Donors can donate the bonds to their party of choice which can then be cashed via the party’s verified account within 15 days. The Congress and the CPI had demanded that the names of both recipients and donors should be made public to ensure transparency. The Election commission had also written to the Ministry of Law and Justice raising objections on the electoral bond scheme because it makes political donations non-transparent.
The second poll asked people if cash donations to political parties should be completely stopped if electoral bonds were to be introduced. 95 per cent said yes to it while only 3 per cent said no. 2 per cent were unsure about it.
Many political parties have already shown their discontent against the move. CPI(M) has approached the Supreme Court of India saying that the move is non-democratic in nature and will in turn lead to greater political corruption. The Electoral Bond system will also ensure that the public will never know the names of the donors, which will make the mechanism a bit opaque.
In the final poll, 71 per cent citizens said donor anonymity in electoral bonds purchase will encourage policy level corruption. 21 per cent said it will not promote corruption and 8% were unsure. Citizens feel that the move of introducing electoral bonds has been a success so far but they also feel that full transparency will only be established once the identities of the donors is revealed.
Box: Public perception on electoral bonds
Do You Support introduction of Electoral Bonds for political funding
80 per cent respondents agreed
15 per cent disagreed
5 per cent were unsure about it
If cash donations to political parties should be completely stopped if electoral bonds were to be introduced.
95 per cent said yes
3 per cent said no
2 per cent were unsure about it
Will donor anonymity in electoral bonds purchase will encourage policy level corruption
71 per cent said yes
21 per cent said it will not promote corruption
8 per cent were unsure