"We are all aware that people go to voters with Rs 1,000 notes and bribe them. How do you stop that? Political parties would have disclosed funding details if they were not under pressure to spend the kind of money which is required in a campaign. There is no point putting the blame on political parties," says Yashwant Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former finance minister.
Sinha suggests a surgical method of stopping the inflow of black money. "After the candidates have filed their nominations, each constituency should be told through the media who its candidates are and what his credentials are," he says. "After the nominations, candidates should be put in seclusion… put them behind bars.
Candidates should not be given mobiles or any other means of reaching out. Till the time the elections are over they should be remain in jail and then let the people decide. This is the most surgical solution to the problem. But if you expect them to campaign in the manner that is required in India, then it is foolish to talk in terms of stopping the role of black money."
Contesting an election is a huge management exercise, he adds. "It's all high tech, the kind of requirements that are put by the Election Commission, it is becoming a huge management driven exercise and it doesn't come free."
Sinha says that one has to look at the bigger picture. "Even if parties have dedicated cadres, no party worker will work without being enabled to do that work. No worker will spend out of his pocket."
The biggest problem, Sinha says is the generation of black money and how it is flowing into the entire system. "People ask point blank: how much I will get by voting for you," he says. "Candidates are openly distributing forms and assuring people that they will get people BPL cards, job cards etc for votes."