8:47 am - Monday November 9, 2015

There should be cap on party expenditure, says CEC VS Sampath

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NEW DELHI: 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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