As in any set of polls, this time too the Election Commission (EC) has appointed expenditure observers. Two hundred and four officers, tasked with this function, will fan across five states to check the misuse of money during polls. EC has also asked candidates in the fray to open separate bank accounts and route their election expenses through them.
Will this solve the problem? It won’t. For one, it is not necessary that such transactions are carried out only during election time. Then, it is impossible to patrol all transactions.
At another level, the scope for “helping” politicians in return for favours later is too large a problem to be checked by election observers alone. It is better to allow liberal expenditure with strict post-election auditing followed by public disclosure of accounts. That way the chances of money power affecting electoral outcomes and policy manipulation can be reduced