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EC to keep eye on election expenditure of candidates
Election Commission will keep a hawk eye on the poll expenses of political parties even before filing of nominations by their candidates.

EC to keep eye on election expenditure of candidates

Two observers reach city to monitor poll expenses24 Apr 2019 | 8:11 AM

BATHINDA: Teams of the Election Commission will keep a hawk eye on the poll expenses of political parties even before filing of nominations by their candidates.

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Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 23

Teams of the Election Commission will keep a hawk eye on the poll expenses of political parties even before filing of nominations by their candidates.

In view of polling for the Lok Sabha elections on May 19, two expenditure observers have been deputed in the Bathinda-11 parliamentary constituency.

These expenditure observers — Mayank Pandey (IRS) and Ajay Kumar Ojha (IRS) — have already reached the city.

District Election Officer B Srinivasan, who is also the Deputy Commissioner, said both observers would keep an eye on the poll expenditure of the candidates.

Mayank Pandey will supervise the poll expenditure of candidates in the Assembly constituencies of Sardulgarh, Mansa, Budhladha, Talwandi Sabo and Maur.

Meanwhile, Ajay Kumar Ojha will supervise the poll expenditure in the Assembly constituencies of Bathinda (Urban), Lambi, Bathinda (Rural) and Bucho.

The District Election Officer said voters could directly contact the expenditure observers for any complaint or information on the phone number of Mayank Pandey 8360757315 and Ajay Kumar Ojha 7009032161.

Monitoring teams of the Election Commission will videograph rallies of political parties. The teams will not have any right to interfere or stop the political parties from splurging. The teams will submit the details to the respective election offices wherein the accounting teams will watch videos and prepare the details of the expense incurred in holding rallies or other such events.

For this, the District Election Office has prepared an exhaustive list of the rates of things used at these rallies. Expenses will be calculated in sync with the rates registered in this list and will be maintained in the evidence folder of each candidate.

As part of its poll expenditure monitoring process, the state poll panel has approved the rates for 171 items and services, including tea (Rs8 per cup) and samosas (Rs10 per piece) so that political parties or their candidates don’t quote a lower price while submitting their poll expenditure bills.

A Lok Sabha candidate is permitted to spend up to Rs70 lakh as poll expenditure. The rate list included prices of various other eatables too, including ‘barfi’ Rs200 per kg, biscuits Rs150 per kg, bread pakoras Rs10 per piece, sandwiches Rs15 a piece and jalebis Rs140 per kg.

The monthly charges for renting offices in rural and urban areas have been fixed at Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 respectively.

The rate list has fixed prices of all possible material, including fabric banners (Rs8 per square feet), standard cloth flags (Rs30 per piece), wooden cutouts (Rs30 per piece), medium-quality flex frames (Rs50 per square feet), flower badges (Rs15 per piece), hoardings with iron frame (Rs15 per sq ft) and flags with rods (Rs9 per piece).

The charges for hiring light and sound systems and related services have been kept in the range of Rs150 to Rs5,000 a day. Even hiring vehicles such as cars, buses and autos should cost between Rs750 and Rs3,000 a day.

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