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Black Money seizure: 2014 versus 3rd phase of 2019

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New Delhi, April 30: The use of unaccounted money or black money in the elections in India has been a major concern.

As the country is going through the seven-phased general elections, special task forces of the Election Commission (EC) and state police authorities have been conducting seizures aiming to curb bribes to voters.

Black Money seizure: 2014 versus 3rd phase of 2019

Candidates use black money to win elections because the ECI has set a limit on their expenditure.

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A candidate can spend between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 70 lakh, depending on the state they are contesting the Lok Sabha election from. For all states, except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim, a candidate can spend a maximum of Rs 70 lakh on canvassing. The cap for Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, and Sikkim is Rs 54 lakh. And, it is Rs 70 lakh for Delhi and Rs 54 lakh for other Union territories.

Candidates have to keep a separate account and file the election expenses with the EC under the law. An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification for up to three years under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

According to the EC data, a total of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs. 2,99,94,30,804 was seized during 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Out of the seven phases, four phases have been completed till April 29.

Though the final black money seizure report of 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be out later, the data till April 25 shows that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have already left the 2014 Lok Sabha elections way behind.

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The EC data shows that cash amounting to Rs 750 crore has been seized till April 25, 2019.

The above mentioned comparison doesn't include the fourth phase that was conducted on April 29.

It is notable that the Election Commission of India imposes limits on the expenditure incurred by a candidate, but not political parties, on their election campaign.

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