(G.N.S) Dt. 11
The Election Commission on Wednesday set the campaign expenses limit per candidate at Rs 28 lakh in the Karnataka assembly polls to be held in April-May. This includes public meetings, rallies, posters, banners, vehicles and advertisements in print and electronic media.
This could bring some relief to aspirants considering the ceiling has nearly doubled compared to the assembly polls in 2013. In 2014, the expenditure limit was raised from Rs 16 lakh to Rs 28 lakh for bigger states and Rs 20 lakh for smaller states. Increase in the number of electors and polling stations, and the cost inflation index were some of the reasons cited for hiking the expenditure ceiling.
Deputy election commissioner Umesh Sinha directed parties to adhere to the maximum expenditure limit and make all payments above Rs 20,000 through the account payee cheque. The law mandates that candidates submit their expense details within 30 days after the election results are announced. This includes details of funds received from various sources and also the campaign expenses. Defaulters can be disqualified from being a legislator and also barred from being chosen as a member of assembly/Parliament.
“We all know that one can’t win an assembly election without spending a minimum of Rs 3 crore, though in some urban constituencies it goes up to Rs 20 crore,” said a senior Congress leader. “With Rs 28 lakh, one cannot even win a ZP poll,” a JD(S) leader said.
(G.N.S) Dt. 11