Sam­path: There Should be Cap on Party Ex­pen­di­ture

En­sure level play­ing field for all can­di­dates: CEC

The Economic Times - - Front Page - RI­TIKA CHO­PRA

Tak­ing note of the large amounts of money that was pumped into the Lok Sabha cam­paign, Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner VS Sam­path has said that there should be a cap on the ex­pen­di­ture in­curred by po­lit­i­cal par­ties to en­sure a level play­ing field for all can­di­dates. Cur­rently, there is no limit to how much po­lit­i­cal par­ties can spend on its elec­tion cam­paign, a fac­tor that usu­ally works to the dis­ad­van­tage of in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates and smaller par­ties. “There should be a limit on party spend­ing to en­sure level-play­ing field among dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Some par­ties may have ac­cess to have a lot funds. This re­quires a lot of de­bate and ac­tion by law­mak­ers,” he told ET on the eve of elec­tion re­sults. Look­ing back at the vit­ri­olic at­tack on the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion by se­nior lead­ers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties, Sam­path said that he would have liked them to show more re­straint in their ut­ter­ances. “Se­nior lead­ers should not draw their con­clu­sions from the strin­gent or­ders of EC. They are not do­ing jus­tice to the sys­tem by es­pous­ing such views about the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. We are no­body to ad­vise how people should re­act but cer­tainly they could have shown some re­straint and ma­tu­rity,” the poll panel chief said. He was, how­ever, con­fi­dent that the poll panel’s im­age was not dented be­cause of the barbs di­rected at his lead­er­ship and neu­tral­ity. “Just be­cause some­one ac­cused of us be­ing bi­ased doesn’t meant the people will be­lieve them. They are smart enough to un­der­stand the mo­tives be­hind such ut­ter­ances. Our ac­tions will stand vin­di­cated on it merit,” he said.

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