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Star campaigners on EC watchlist

lucknow Updated: Dec 29, 2011 19:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The election commission on Wednesday directed the recognized political parties to submit the list of the star campaigners who will campaign during the assembly election.

A meeting of the representatives of the national as well as state level political parties was held under the chairmanship of chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha. They were directed to send the list of the star campaigners to Election Commission within seven days of the notification of the polls.

Sinha said, “a political party can nominate 40 people as its star campaigner. The detail of the itinerary of the star campaigners, including their travel by aeroplanes or helicopters, should be sent to the EC office before their visit. Within three days of the visit of the star campaigner, the political parties would have to submit the name of the company from where the aeroplane or helicopter was hired.

“The EC should be intimated about the details of the rent, other payments, area visited, number of flights taken and the number of person accompanying the star campaigner,” he said.

Sinha said the Election Commission would monitor the expenditure of the political parties as well as candidates strictly.

A host of big leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, are likely to campaign for their parties in the ensuing elections in the state.

“On paid news issue, the election commission has planned to constitute committees at district level,” he said.

“Within 75 days of the poll the political parties would have to submit the detail of their expenditure, including the fund invested in travel, banner, poster, construction of dais, cutouts, gates, hoardings and amount spent on advertisement in electronic and print media. The political parties should also audit their expenditure before submitting the report,” he said.

The EC has made it mandatory for the candidates to open account in the nationalised bank for daily expenditure. The EC would not allow the candidates to operate the account opened before the announcement of the poll schedule. A candidate could run single account or open a joint account along with his election agent. If a candidate wishes to withdraw R20,000 or above, he will have to make the payment through cheque only. The candidates could also hire an election expenditure agent to maintain details of his account and expenditure during poll.

The candidates have been directed to maintain an expenditure register which he will have to submit to the observer for scrutiny thrice during the election campaign.

The EC has imposed a ban on campaigning at religious spots and political parties would have to take prior permission from the district returning officer for organising meeting or rallies.