New Delhi

The debate on electoral reforms was rekindled with BJP MP Varun Gandhi stressing on the need for transparency in poll funding.

Speaking at the launch of In Search of Ram Rajya: A Journey through U.P. Politics by Manjula Lalsenior editor, The Statesman, here on Friday, Gandhi touched on campaign financing, electoral reforms and legislative reforms.

Giving a global perspective, he cited the 2016 US presidential elections and the electoral financing scandal in Brazil surrounding Dilma Rouseff. Corrupt electoral financing plagues democracies, he added. He reminded the audience of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement that every Indian politician starts his career with a lie — on their electoral expenditure figures.

Recalling a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms, Gandhi said political funding in India has gone up 55 times in the last 15 years. Hoping that his ‘Right to Recall’ bill would see the light of day, Gandhi also expressed concern about how Parliament is functioning less than compared to the past. He called for more women and youth representation in elected bodies.

The author narrated her exhilarating experience of writing the book. Lal underscored that the best minds from Uttar Pradesh move out and work in better places, much due to the ‘crab-mentality’ that existed in UP even around 10 years back. But now things are changing, she said. The aspirations of the youth are pushing the politicians to work and do something new. Talking about the BJP's stupendous victory in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, she denied that it was a Hindutva wave or Modi wave.

Manjula felt the people were disillusioned with other parties, especially castebased parties, and wanted good governance.

“Let's hope people get it. I don’t think we should take a negative approach on Yogi Adityanath. If a person is fired with enthusiasm we should support that person.” the author added.

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