The city unit of Congress has trained its guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the final expenditure filed by him for his candidature from the Vadodara Parliamentary Constituency.
The Congress has demanded action against Modi for flouting norms of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in showing mandatory expenses incurred to “pay” booth agents for overseeing the affairs on polling day.
According to the expenditure rules of the ECI, a candidate must show minimum expenditure at the rate of Rs 400 per booth agent, but Modi has shown the minimum payment to booth agents as Rs 220 per agent. In a letter to the District Election Officer, Vadodara Congress candidate Madhusudan Mistry, through his election agent advocate Shailesh Amin has demanded action against Modi, as per the rules of the ECI for filing his final expenditure in contravention of the basic expenditure list laid down by the ECI.
In his letter to the DEO, Amin has stated, “During the elections at the 20 Vadodara Parliamentary Constituency, according to the accounting rules of the ECI, expenses borne towards the payment of booth agents for the polling day must be shown in the expenditure.
Also, an order of the District Election Officer, the minimum payment to be shown towards the booth agent is at Rs 400 per agent. However, BJP Vadodara candidate and current PM Narendra Modi has shown his expenditure towards booth agents at the rate of Rs 220 per booth agent, thus amounting to a total of Rs 3.48 lakh. According to the notice of Chief Labour Commissioner B K Sanwariya dated April 1, 2014, the minimum wage for clerical work has been amounted at a basic pay of Rs 220 and Rs 180 as dearness allowance, which totals to Rs 400.”
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Vadodara Lok Sabha had a total of 1,591 booths and thus, the total expenditure for booth agents in the booths at the rate of Rs 400 per agent amounts to Rs 6.35 lakh.
BJP leaders say the decision to show Rs 220 as the payment to each polling agent has been taken by the party at the state-level meeting to maintain uniformity. Mayor Bharat Shah, who was Modi’s expenditure agent for Vadodara constituency, said, “We have not received any notice from the Collector about this.”