CEC advocates rationalisation of election expenses

Lucknow, Jan 30 (PTI) Chief Election Commissioner S YQuraishi today advocated rationalisation of ceiling ofexpenses in elections and said he would soon write to thegovernment so that the existing expense limit may beincreased.

"The expense in elections are 20-30 times more thanthe ceiling limit for it. The issue to rationalise the expenseshould be looked upon and I will be writing to the governmentin this regard soon", Quraishi said while addressing a''Regional Consultation for Electoral Reforms'' here.

"The expense limit may be increased to 1.5 to two fold. Iwill take suggestions from the political parties and try thatthe limit is increased before the next elections," Quraishisaid.

He said there should be a ban on transfer of poll staffsix months before and after elections (declaration of modelcode of conduct).

"It has been seen that poll staff allege victimisationafter polls. There should also be ban on their transfer sixmonths after polls", he said.

On wrong expenditure statement given by a candidate, theCEC said instead of their disqualification for three years itshould be for six years so that they would not be able tocontest even the next polls.

Saying that the Election Commission must be given rightsto de-register political parties Quraishi said out of about1200 registered parties only 150 are active.

Calling for a ban on opinion polls during elections,Quraishi said there was no guarantee of their genuinity withtrend of "paid news" on the rise.

"Like exit polls, opinion polls should also be bannedas there is no guarantee of their genuinity with the trend ofpaid news on the rise", Quraishi said.

"The public consider, opinion polls as genuine but itis not guaranteed", he said.

The CEC also suggested banning advertisements inprint media and door to door campaigning 48 hours beforepolls.

"The advertisements in the print media may also bebanned as the candidates do not get time to counterpropaganda, if any, against them," he said.

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