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Paid news: Ashok Chavan summoned by EC, faces disqualification

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A huge setback came for the Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and the Congress party when the Election Commission (EC) summoned Chavan for a hearing on 23rd May in the paid news case.

Ashok Chavan is facing allegations of running paid news in newspapers during the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly polls.

According to a Supreme court ruling last week, the Election Commission was empowered to investigate the poll expenses of the candidates in the fray and also had the authority to disqualify them. If disqualified as an MLA, Ashok Chavan may face similar action if he is elected as an MP from Nanded this time.

In a recent media interview, the Chief Election Commissioner, V S Sampath said that the EC needs to intensify activities against money power. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

When asked why the EC has not been able to control money power during the elections, Sampath said that the problem of money power has intensified and that is all the more a reason why the EC should  activities against money power.

When asked specifically regarding Ashok Chavan’s case, which had been in the High Court followed by the Supreme Court for five long years, Sampath said that after the nominations are accepted, the candidates are declared as candidates in the elections, until the election is over there is no power with the commission to disqualify a candidate.

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