Holding elected representatives accountable, ensuring they don't misuse the system
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It is common experience in many states particularly Karnataka, where getting elected to office (MLAs, MPs, Corporators, Panchayats, Committee Members such as PSCs, Chairpersons of State PSUs / statutory bodies...) has turned out to be a business for the adventurists. Seen as lucrative offering quick financial returns with low risk, access to many known and unknown benefits and building a strong foundation for luxurious life for self and kin after term of the office. Aspirants have to spend money in many forms (for getting nominated from the party, wooing voters in the election, nomination / appointments to posts) and the whole process takes the character of a business where one puts in money upfront and takes it out (several times the investment) in a short time, with minor bruises if at all any. There are people to fund the venture with a tacit understanding that once the person gets elected he/she has to do all that is necessary to liberally reward those who financed the venture upfront (the collateral risk takers). This reward takes the form of easy access to dubious contracts, favoritism in award of works, dilution in enforcement of contract terms, looking the other way in quality compliance, liberal approval of bills and release of funds even against fake bills for works never done and so on.
Many times the person sitting in committees for tender evaluation, award of contracts, approval of bills and release of money is the same as the one holding the elected office and also executing the jobs or taking up works under anonymity or benami, tacit share holding in the business of the contractor, related to or interested in the bidder and so on. The modus operandi can take many forms left to the ingenuity of the person and his/her cohorts in the game. The active role of officials is no exception. It is necessary that we have a strong, effective and implementable law including a whistle blowers' act that gives utmost protection to the one blowing the whistle or even take anonymous whistle-blowing, as a situation to be acted on expeditiously by enforcement agencies outside the sphere of influence of the perpetrator.
Recent cases of punishment of upright officials who exposed the rot and loot in the system is just one in many that go never reported. It is also surprising that when an independent survey of paurakarmikas was to be taken up by a a third party agency, the BBMP corporators objected to the initiative, saying without their committee approval such an initiative should not be taken up. Why are corporators objecting to an initiative meant to bring out the truth? It doesn't need an explicit answer. These are only examples.
I would want the election commission to come up with an exhaustive law with exhaustive coverage and jurisdiction throughout the country over any institution, office bearers and officers (where positions of power / influence are enjoyed through the system of ballot, nomination, election or whatever) to curb practices involving conflict of interest by those in power. The law should also have provision to confiscate all the wealth generated that is not explained as derived from legitimate sources. Those in power and positions of influence should be treated more stringently as they enjoy the power to influence outcomes, obfuscate truth and are unequal to ordinary citizens without such privileges
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