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In a first, EC disqualifies UP MLA for Paid News

By Pti

Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi, Oct 20: In the first case of action against a politician for ''Paid News'' syndrome, the Election Commission disqualified a woman MLA from Uttar Pradesh for three years for incorrect statement of election expenditure incurred on ''news items'' in two Hindi dailies.

The decision to disqualify Umlesh Yadav, an MLA belonging to Rashtriya Parivartan Dal, headed by controversial politician D P Yadav, can have ramifications in other cases including that of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

Chavan faces a similar complaint against him in a case pending before the Election Commission.

The three-member Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi took the decision on a complaint filed by losing candidate Yogendra Kumar whose complaint with the Press Council was upheld and formed the basis for the Commission's action.

Having due regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances and the law on the subject, the Commission said it was of the opinion, and accordingly held that Umlesh Yadav did not maintain a correct and true account of her election expenditure under section 77 (of the Representation of the People Act) in connection with her election to UP Assembly from Bisauli in April 2007.

It held that she filed such incorrect account of her election expenses with the district election officer and had denied filing such incorrect account and defended her action.

The Commission said to some people its view that the suppression of the expenditure of Rs 21,250 by Umlesh Yadav in her account of election expense and her failure under law might appear too harsh.


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