Date: Aug 22, 2019

India’s recently concluded general elections was the costliest elections anywhere in the world. According to a report by Centre for Media Studies, as much as $ 8 billion (INR 55,000 cr) was spent in the course of six-week long campaigns. The report admits its  figures (based on front end costs and traceable expenditure) captured only a fractions of what would have been spent on the frenzied six-week campaigns.  While these claims (based on anecdotal evidence) can be contested, there is irrefutable evidence that campaign expenditures have skyrocketed over the years. This has many consequences for the democratic system. While India has introduced an upper cap on spending by candidates, slack regulation and other loopholes have rendered this meaningless. Are there better ways to control election expenditure and bring down the role of money in democratic process? How other established democracies have tackled the menace of money in elections? What India can learn from the international experience?

About Prof. Joo-Cheong Tham

Joo-Cheong’s research spans the fields of public law with a focus on law and democracy; and the regulation of precarious work. His publications include Money and Politics: The Democracy We Can’t Afford and reports for the New South Wales Electoral Commission and the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption. Joo-Cheong is also the Deputy Chair of the Migrant Workers Centre; an Advisory Board Member of the Global Labour Migration Network; and a Board Member of the Centre for Public Integrity.


15:00 – 15:30 | Tea and Registration

15:30 – 15:35 | Opening remarks by Chair, Niranjan Sahoo, Senior Fellow, ORF

15:35 – 16:00 | Remarks by Prof. Joo-Cheong Tham, Director, Electoral Regulation Research Network, University of Melbourne

16:00 – 16:50 | Q & A

16:50 – 17:00 | Closing Remarks by Chair

Venue Address

ORF Conference Hall, New Delhi