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The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has once again flagged one of the biggest shortcomings of our political system—financing. According to data, for the period between 2004-05 and 2014-15, about 70% of the declared income for both national and regional political parties put together came from unknown sources. This clearly raises a doubt in the mind of the voter, especially when parties resist reforms in this area. This must change.
Lack of transparency and resistance to change can affect voters’ trust in the political system. However, the change will not be easy. This is where the government will have to take the lead as it will require changes to the rule book. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well by highlighting the need for reforms in political funding at a time when it is being reported that a number of parties are misusing the system. Also, since India is moving towards a less-cash economy, there is no reason why political parties should not be a part of this movement which will result in greater transparency.