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Indian Polity

Poll Spend Limit

  • 07 Dec 2019
  • 2 min read

Why in News

A Private Member’s bill was introduced in the Parliament which intends to do away with the cap on election spending by candidates.

  • The Bill has been introduced on the ground that the ceiling on election expenses ends up being counterproductive and encourages candidates to under-report their expenditure.
  • Also, the ceiling currently prescribed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) is meant for legitimate expenditure. A lot of money in elections is being spent for illegitimate purposes.

Current Scenario

  • At present, under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, a candidate contesting Lok Sabha polls can spend up to Rs 70 lakh and up to Rs 28 lakh in an assembly election depending on the state in which s/he is contesting polls.
  • Under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every candidate shall keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure incurred between the date on which he has been nominated and the date of declaration of the result.
  • All candidates are required to submit their expenditure statement to the ECI within 30 days of the completion of the elections.
  • An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification of the candidate by the ECI for up to three years, under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • It can be noted that there is no cap on a political party’s expenditure, which is often exploited by candidates of the party. However, all registered political parties have to submit a statement of their election expenditure to the ECI within 90 days of the completion of the elections.

Source: TH

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