Raising ceiling on election spending is anti-people

Socialist Party (India) leaders said to Citizen News Service (CNS) that recent decision of Election Commission of India to raise the ceiling on election spending in Lok Sabha polls to Rs 70 lakhs is anti-people as it will only make it easier for the rich candidates and political parties to spend money in elections. Similarly raising the deposit amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 will make it furthermore difficult for poor people to contest polls.

Magsaysay Awardee and national vice president of Socialist Party Dr Sandeep Pandey said: "Raising ceiling on election spending will further increase the disparity between rich and poor candidates and political parties. Role of money and muscle power in elections must be made irrelevant in democracy so that even the poorest of the poor can come forward to contest polls."

He added: "It is widely evident in previous elections that election spending by candidates of major political parties was way above the ceiling set by Election Commission. So the money spent above the prescribed ceiling on election spending was black money obtained through indulging in corruption."

UP State Vice President Girish Kumar Pande said: "We believe that ceiling on election spending and deposit money should be reduced as much as possible and election commission should not only monitor candidate's election spending but also cap the election spending done by political parties. Presently there is no cap on election spending done by political parties."

Citizen News Service - CNS
March 2014

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