The Election Commission is mulling issuing a notice to BJP leader Gopinath Munde on his statement that he had spent Rs. 8 crore in the last Lok Sabha elections much above the prescribed ceiling as the Congress stepped up the demand for his disqualification as MP.
Sources said the Election Commission is gathering evidence regarding Munde's comments at a programme in Mumbai two days ago. It may issue a notice to Munde on Monday, they said.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders demanded that Munde, elected from Beed in Maharashtra, be disqualified from Parliament.
Congress leader Satyabrat Chaturvedi said Munde has violated the election law and has himself accepted this. "The Election Commission should take appropriate action," he said.
Sanjay Nirupam, Congress MP from Mumbai North, said the EC should initiate proceedings for Munde's disqualification.
The expenditure limit on the Lok Sabha election was Rs. 25 lakh and Munde spent a whopping Rs. 7.75 crore more than the limit, Nirupam said, demanding stern action against the BJP's Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha.
"I will urge EC to call Munde for enquiry and take action against him," he told reporters.
BJP was defensive on the issue and reasoned that Munde has flagged the important issue of state funding of polls.
"Munde has raised a very valid issue of government funding of elections and also the rising expenditure in polls. I think he has flagged one important discussion in the country. If somebody has misconstrued that it is his own experience, then this is what leaders are observing across the country," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
Another party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said one should not go into the nitty-gritty of what Munde said and instead focus on the larger issue of need for more funds to win over voters during polls.