Chennai: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has exempted a maximum of 20 leaders in each unrecognised political party and 40 in each recognised party of travel expenses from their parties’ election expenses.
In a press note citing the provisions of Section 77 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said, “The expenditure incurred by leaders of political parties on account of travel by air or any other means of transport for propagating programme of the political party is not deemed to be expenditure incurred or authorised by the candidate or his agent.”
“But, the benefit will be available if and only if the names of the leaders, maximum of 20 in the case of unrecognised political party and 40 for recognised political party, are communicated to ECI and to CEO, Tamilnadu, within seven days from the date of notification for the election, as required under explanation two under sub-section one. The notification for the general elections to Lok Sabha and by-elections to Tamilnadu legislative assembly, 2019, will be published on 19 March. The list of leaders for whom the parties desire to get exemption should be communicated on or before 26 March.”
Apart from travel expenses incurred by the leaders whose names have been communicated to ECI / CEO, all other expenses of political parties relating to the campaigns for the candidate will be required to be included in the account of election expenses of the candidates, said the note.
Also, travel by a star campaigner for candidates of other parties are not exempted, he pointed out.