February 28, 2021 2:52:02 am
Pointing at a delay by the Congress in filing its list of star campaigners for the recently concluded elections to six municipal corporation, the State Election Commission has ordered all the expenses of these star campaigners be considered in the individual accounts of the party candidates.
“We had asked all political parties to submit a list of star campaigners till the list of contesting candidates got finalised. When Congress submitted the list of star campaigners, the time limit had expired for the municipal corporation polls (held on February 21). But we did not reject the list. We had considered it for the municipalities, taluka and district panchayat polls (to be held Sunday),” said Mahesh Joshi, SEC secretary.
“As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, all the expenses of the star campaigners related to the campaigning for the municipal corporation polls will now be counted in the individual expenses of the local candidates for whom them had canvassed,” he added.
A formal order in this regard was issued on February 18 by the SEC.
The Congress party in Gujarat has hit back saying the SEC officials were merely toying with administrative procedures to adversely impact the party. “The process of submitting the list of star campaigners never had a deadline before. We had submitted the list as required. However, in the name of a procedure and administrative rules, they are just trying to harass us,” Manish Doshi, spokesperson of the party in the state, said.
“Here, the SEC is telling us that we didn’t not follow rules. The secretary of SEC who signed the order has got seven extensions. The ECI rules
state that no retired official can be given election duty,” he added.
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