Political parties and election officials in Noida are not on the same page over the calculation of expenditure in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have said the spending on campaigning should be calculated once the nominations are filed (February 2). Election officials here have differed, saying they started calculations ever since the elections schedules were announced on December 24. The three assembly seats in Gautam Buddha Nagar district — Noida, Dadri and Jewar — would go to polls on February 28.
As per the Election Commission (EC) guidelines, the expenditure limit for a candidate has been fixed at R11 lakh. The expenditure includes money spent on banners, posters, cutouts, hoardings, advertisements, rallies and star campaigners. Funds provided by the party to its candidates for election purposes are required to be reflected in the day-to-day accounts of election expenditure of candidates.
The two stands mean a difference of about five weeks of expenditure.
“Expenditure should technically and legally be calculated from the date of filing of nominations," said Mahesh Sharma, Noida's BJP candidate. Noida's BSP candidate Om Dutt Sharma stuck to the same line. They, however, said they would follow the EC guidelines.
Additional district magistrate (finance and revenue) Sarvjit Ram said, "We have been maintaining the accounts of all candidates ever since the EC issued the notification for the assembly polls, bringing in force the model code of conduct. The Election Commission has already said that many Uttar Pradesh districts, including Gautam Buddha Nagar, may give trouble regarding use of money during the elections. "There was confusion whether the calculation starts with the notification or nominations. Today we received a clarification from the Election Commission that accounts have to be maintained from the date of nominations," Ram said.