Indian Express

EC cautions Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal on poll funding remarks

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Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal

The Election Commission on Tuesday asked Punjab Chief Minister to be “careful in future” while letting him off the hook for his remarks that while crores of rupees are spent on elections, only little is disclosed and that people should not give funds “openly”.

“The Commission has considered the…reply carefully and has not found it satisfactory and is of the view that Parkash Singh Badal has violated the…provision of Model Code of Conduct. Now, therefore, the Commission hereby advises him to  be careful in future,” the EC said.

Acting on a complaint of a Punjab Congress leader, the EC had issued a show cause notice to Badal.

The panel referred to his April 12 speech in Jalandhar in which he reportedly said that “crores are spent on campaigning, though we show less in expenditure details….Give quietly, don’t give openly”.

The Commission reminded Badal of Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which prescribes that every candidate at an election shall, either by himself or by his election agent, keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure in connection with the election incurred or authorised by him.

It also said the provision of the Model Code of Conduct is clear that “all parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are corrupt practices and offences under the election law….”

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