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EC for cap on expenditure in Legislative Council polls

Seeking to check the use of black money, the Election Commission has proposed putting a cap on expenditure by candidates in certain legislative council polls.
However, the Government has said political parties and the seven states with legislative council should be consulted before amending laws to put in place a ceiling on expenditure.
At present, there is no cap on expenditure on candidates contesting legislative council polls.
Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have legislative councils.
The poll watchdog told the Law Ministry recently that the provision for maintaining and lodging of election expenses be extended to all contesting candidates of local authorities’, graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies in legislative council polls.
It also said that the expenditure limit for these category of elections could be half of the limit for assembly elections in these states.
At present, the expenditure limit for candidates in assembly elections is set at Rs 28 lakh in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. It would mean that once the amendments are made in the Representation of the People Act, the expenditure ceiling of candidates contesting Legislative Council elections in these states would be Rs 14 lakh.
Responding to the proposal, the Law Ministry has advised that it would be better to seek the views of political parties and states where legislative councils are functioning before moving ahead.
The Law Ministry is the nodal ministry dealing with issues involving the Election Commission.
Most of the members of the legislative councils are elected through five different constituencies. One third of the members are elected by representatives of the local authorities; another one third are elected by members of the legislative assembly; one-twelfth are elected by the graduates in the state; one-twelfth are elected by the teachers in the state. The rest are nominated by the Governor of the state concerned. (PTI)


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