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Time not ripe for state funding of polls in India: EC

The Election Commission of India (EC) on Tuesday said the time was not ripe to go for state funding of elections in the country unless “radical reforms” are brought in place.

“Many political parties have demanded state funding. We do not have direct funding of parties. There are certain in-direct benefits like free electoral rolls, free air-time on state-owned media, free space for registered offices in state capital and tax exemptions (for parties),” said Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.

He added: “EC is of the view that state funding should not be considered unless some radical reforms are accompanied in areas such as de-criminalisation of politics in a democracy in parties, holistic electoral finance reforms, robust transparency and audit and strict legal regime for enforcement of anti-corruption laws.” 
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