The Election Commission on Saturday slapped a notice on BJP leader Gopinath Munde seeking for his statement that he had spent Rs 8 crore in the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign, which is way above the prescribed limit of Rs.25 lakh.
The EC has asked Munde to explain within 20 days why action should not be initiated against him under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, and why he should not be disqualified under the Representation of People Act for allegedly suppressing and undervaluing his poll campaign expenditure.
The prescribed limit of poll campaign expenditure during the 2009 Parliamentary election was Rs 25 lakh.
Munde, who is an MP from Beed and BJP's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, had on June 27 said during a book launch function in Mumbai that he had spent a whopping Rs eight crore during his 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari were also present.
Munde while talking about his long electioneering career and bemoaning the increasing cost of contesting elections, had said, "I spent Rs 29,000 when I contested my first Assembly poll in 1980. Rs 8 crore were spent for my last (2009 Lok Sabha) election."
"The reasons for the said default should be explained by you in writing and your explanation should reach the Commission within 20 days from the date of receipt of this notice.
"ln case, you fail to do so, within the time stipulated above, you will render yourself liable, without any further reference to you in the matter, for disqualification under section 10 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament or of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State or Union Territory for a period of 3 years from the date of order of the Commission declaring you to be so disqualified," the EC notice to him said.