Captain Amarinder Singh, the Congress candidate from Amritsar, Monday lodged a formal complaint with the Election Commission, urging that the cost of a house bought by BJP nominee Arun Jaitley in Amritsar last week be included in the poll expenses.
Amarinder has alleged that Jaitley’s move to buy a Rs 1 crore house in Amritsar was aimed at garnering support from the people as they consider him to be an outsider. The complaint was filed through Amarinder’s election agent Karanpal Singh Sekhon.
“The house has been purchased by Arun Jaitley as part of his election campaign, in what he perceives is a fulfilment of a promise made during his campaign speeches to the electorate of Amritsar… The house has been purchased as an integral part of his campaign efforts and strategy to establish to the electorate of Amritsar that he is not an outsider and so this ought not to be an impediment in their mind should they choose to vote for him…,” the complaint states.
It says that “party symbols, flags and other materials being affixed to such house will show that it has been specifically purchased and is being used for such election purpose and campaign”.
Suggesting that the actual cost of the house should be much more than Rs 1 crore, the complaint says: “This 340 square yard, five-bedroom house in Green Avenue Colony — which is one of the posh colonies of Amritsar — merits some verification, as the market value may be many times more.”
The EC has also been requested that Jaitley be asked to produce before it the registry or sale deed or other documents and information with regard to the purchase of the house.
The complaint refers to Section 77(3) read with Rule 99 of the Conduct of Election Rules-1961, which provides that the maximum election expenditure that can be incurred by a candidate is Rs 76 lakh and violation of this will amount to a corrupt practice under Section123(6) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
“If Arun Jaitley is admitting in public domain that he has purchased this house for Rs 1 crore then he is, by admission, already in breach of the Section, consequences thereof must follow and no further campaign or election expenses can take place or be permitted,” it added.
Copies of the complaint have been marked to the Punjab chief electoral officer, the Amritsar district election officer, the returning officer-cum-deputy commissioner and to the IG (Police Observer).
Include BJP ad blitz in Modi poll expenses, Cong tells EC
The Congress Monday submitted a petition to the Election Commission alleging all expenses incurred by the BJP on the campaign seeking votes for its PM candidate Narendra Modi and his publicity is “not authorised” and the party’s campaign focussing the Gujarat Chief Minister has to be included in his account as candidate.
“Contrary to the sprit and mandate of law, the entire campaign is for Shri Narendra Modi as a Prime Ministerial Candidate one such slogan is “Abki Bar Modi Sarkar” with his photograph seeking vote for himself as a Prime Ministerial Candidate,” the petition stated. “Under the scheme of Constitution of India and R.P. Act, there is no provision for a direct election to the post of Prime Minister…All such expenses incurred for publicity of Sh. Narendra Modi is not authorized /Permissible U/s. 77 of the R.P. Act 1951”.
It further said, “The manner of election campaign for and by Narendra Modi and the expenditure incurred throughout the country…cannot be on account of the party” and Modi “cannot claim exemption of such expenses from being included in his account”.