scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Monday, May 23, 2022

Rajya Sabha discusses Bill to change Representation of the People Act on expenditure cap

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was introduced by Congress MP Rajeev Gowda on the ground that the ceiling on election expenses ends up being counterproductive and encourages candidates to under-report their expenditure.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 7, 2019 3:17:29 am
Rajya Sabha discusses Bill to change Representation of the People Act on expenditure cap Rajya Sabha saw the introduction of over 30 new private member’s Bills Friday. (RSTV/PTI Photo)

RAJYA SABHA discussed a private member’s Bill on Friday that proposed to amend the Representation of the People Act to remove the limit on expenditure by candidates during an election. The Bill was opposed by the BJP MPs, who said the proposed change would only work to the advantage of wealthy candidates.

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was introduced by Congress MP Rajeev Gowda on the ground that the ceiling on election expenses ends up being counterproductive and encourages candidates to under-report their expenditure.

A candidate contesting Lok Sabha polls can spend up to Rs 70 lakh and up to Rs 28 lakh in an assembly election depending on the state in which they are contesting polls.  “For a developing country like India, the limit of Rs70 lakh is adequate… where can an ordinary person bring Rs 70 lakh from?” BJP MP Ashok Bajpai asked.

His party colleague GVL Narasimha Rao said that the ceiling currently prescribed by the Election Commission is meant for legitimate expenditure. “A lot of money (in elections) is being spent for illegitimate purposes. Even if you increase the expenditure limit, people will continue illegitimate expenditure.”

Best of Express Premium

ExplainSpeaking: Fisc in the time of monetary tighteningPremium
Delhi Confidential: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and his love for JapanesePremium
Nikhat Zareen: ‘My mother was crying and said no one would marry me...Premium
Remove harmonium from Golden Temple? Sikh music scholars strike differing...Premium

Samajwadi Party’s Vishamber Prasad Nishad supported the Bill and reiterated his party’s demand to revert to voting by ballot paper. Congress’s P L Punia said that he doesn’t support the scrapping of expenditure ceiling, but wanted a more “practical” limit to be set. “However, that (practical) ceiling should not be such that it only benefits the wealthy candidates,” he said. Punia also demanded voting by ballot paper in elections.

Law Minister Ravish Shankar Prasad’s reply to the Bill was deferred till next Friday. This was followed by nominated member Narendra Jadhav moving a Bill that seeks to scrutinise foreign investments in financial services, critical infrastructure and technology sectors that have a bearing on national security.

Earlier, BJP MP Prabhat Jha withdrew his private member’s Bill seeking to make cleanliness a fundamental duty under Article 51A of the Constitution. Jha said he was satisfied with the government’s intention and the steps taken on encouraging cleanliness.

Replying to Jha’s Bill, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government had set the target of building 66 lakh toilets in urban areas covering five crore people.  “We have almost met the physical targets but the real success of these schemes would be mapped through behavioural changes,” he said adding that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan had now turned into a “Jan Andolan (public movement)”.

Puri said in the House that except one state the entire country was Open Defecation Free (ODF). “Rural area is now ODF and as far as urban India is concerned, I am hoping that early in the new year, we would be able to declare, the entire country ODF based on a third party verification,” he said.

Rajya Sabha saw the introduction of over 30 new private member’s Bills Friday. These included one by Samajwadi Party MPJaved Ali Khan which seeks a seven-year jail term for those who insult Mahatma Gandhi and eulogise his killers.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement