Gopinath Munde's daredevil act lands him in soup

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Mumbai, June 29: Gopinath Munde's daredevil act has landed him in soup. The senior BJP leader from Maharashtra, who is also the deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, claimed on Thursday that he had spent Rs 8 crore as his election expenses during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, which far exceeds Rs 40 lakh, the limit prescribed by the Election Commission.

Moreover, the man had claimed assets of Rs 6.22 crore in his affidavit filed to the EC that year. The question which has hence started doing the rounds: How could he spend Rs 8 crore for the polls only?

RTI activists have lashed out at Munde, saying the latter lied both about his election expenditure and total assets and hoped that the poll panel would take a strong action against him. They have also sought a probe into the sources of his funds.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra home minister R R Patil has asked the EC to take strong notice of Munde's claims. Munde, while speaking at a programme at Bombay Stock Exchange here on Thursday where Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was also present, said he had spent Rs 8 crore for the polls in 2009 and that the EC could do little against him for fresh polls are less than a year away.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also wanted to EC to step in into the matter and order a probe.

Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said the EC had its own way of verifying facts and it would do so before taking the appropriate action. He said the EC had taken cognizance of the news report.

He made the revelation while arguing how black money plays a big role in politics and it can be removed only if the state funds the elections. He said he had spent Rs 29,000 when he contested his first polls in 1980 but the figure shot up to Rs 8 crore in 2009, which shows how expensive electoral affairs have become.

On Friday, Munde said he had already said whatever he had to.

OneIndi News

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