New Delhi

The Election Commission on Monday said that a large number of political parties were amenable to idea of having a national trust under the EC to hold and disburse money donated by corporates to political parties for election purposes.

“Around 70 per cent of the participants favoured state funding but there was a view that more consultations were required to work out the modalities,” Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma said at the National Consultation on “Political Finance and Law Commission Recommendations” held in the capital Monday. “There was a broad consensus that there should be no corporate funding of political parties and instead a National Electoral Trust under the control of the EC should be set up for corporate donations,” the CEC added.

The CEC also said that those participating in the deliberations agreed that there was a need to control both “big money” and the culture of “vote buying” during polls. The idea to have fast track courts to try electoral offences also found a broad consensus during the discussions. Another area of consensus was on the need to monitor “third party” campaigners during polls.

“We will now write to the Law Ministry saying that the recommendations of the consultations be treated as political consensus… we will see in which areas there was a disagreement and see how EC and the Law Commission can step in,” Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi said.

The issue of state funding of elections, too, figured prominently during the discussions.

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