The state election commission’s (SEC) decision to make it mandatory for candidates to conduct campaign transactions through a separate bank account is seen as a significant move to check use of money power during elections.
Until now, the candidates had to submit daily accounts of expenditure, but will now have to make payments through a newly-opened account with nationalised banks. They will have to deposit money in the bank and then route all payments from this account.
This is a departure from SEC’s earlier practice, whereby it was mandatory for candidates to submit proofs like receipts and accounts of the money spent during campaigning.
Sharad Kumar, AGNI trustee, said although its effect will be limited, it is still a welcome move. “It will go a long way in encouraging transparency in expenditures. However, candidates will find loopholes to deal with this new guideline as well.”
Even the donations received by the candidate will now be monitored. “The candidate will have to show the source of the money he is spending, and thus, details about the donor will also be up for scrutiny,” reasoned Kumar.
Candidates, however, are not very happy. “It will become a headache. There are various small expenditures. How are we expected to make bank payments or them?” said a candidate from eastern suburbs.