Political parties should be barred from accepting donations, except from their members and family, a former Chief Election Commissioner said Thursday as he pushed for creation of a national election fund.

Instead of putting into the kitty of political parties, individuals and companies should give their donations to such a fund, tasked with poll funding, TS Krishnamurthy told PTI .

One hundred per cent tax exemption should be given to such donations at least for five to ten years and thereafter reduce it to 50 per cent by which time the fund would have built a corpus, he suggested.

“There should be a national election fund. Companies cannot give donations to political parties because that promotes nexus. Give it to national election fund and give them 100 per cent tax exemption for the donations made at least for five to ten years”, Krishnamurthy advocated. An all party meeting can decide on how to utilise the money raised to fund elections, he suggested.

Krishnamurthy rued lack of support for such electoral reforms from parties who give excuse that there is no political consensus on them. “Many things you can introduce with 50 per cent majority. 100 per cent consensus may not happen”, he said calling for amendment to relevant electoral legislation.

On electoral bonds scheme, he said it’s not a step towards transparency at all. “Electoral bonds provide opportunity for even loss-making companies to buy (bonds) and give them (to political parties).”This is not a desirable thing”, he added.

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