Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) was set up by a group of Professors from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. ADR conducts Election Watches to help the electorate make an informed choice. Since 2002 ADR has conducted Election Watches for almost all state and parliament elections in collaboration with the National Election Watch (NEW).
The Political Party Watch program studies Income Tax Returns, Donations received and Election expenditure declared by political parties. Strategic litigation is another tool employed by ADR to push for required reform in the political and electoral system.
Election Watches: Election watches are conducted for Lok Sabha elections and state assembly elections in many states. They are also conducted in Rajya Sabha elections, Bye elections and local body elections. The focus areas is background check of candidates, declaration of assets, and criminal records of candidates to increase voter awareness.
Political Party Watches: With a view to keeping political parties accountable, ADR publishes information regarding income tax returns filed by political parties, election expenditure declared by them, donations above Rs. 20,000 received by regional and national political parties.
MERA VOTE MERA DESH: This was a nation-wide Campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with the objective to reduce the influence of crime and money in elections and urge voters to “vote for clean candidates”.
Networking and Advocacy: In addition to the grass-root level advocacy campaigns, ADR organizes press conferences, panel discussions, outdoor campaigns, voter awareness campaigns and social media campaigns. In December 2014, ADR made a submission to SC, where it instituted SIT on black money. Also, ECI sought views of ADR/NEW on “Political Finance and the 255th report of the Law Commission of India.”
Other legal victories: 1) In March 2014, the Delhi HC, in response to a PIL filed by ADR found Congress and BJP guilty of accepting foreign donations and violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act; 2) Based on a petition filed by ADR to monitor election expenditure of political parties, the Delhi HC issued notices to the Union Government and Election Commission. This case has highlighted the huge amount of money being used during elections.
Income Rs6 cr
Expense Rs5 cr
Source : Audit Report 2015
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