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Demonetisation Had No Effect on Black Money in Polls, Says Former CEC Rawat

OP Rawat, who has been succeeded by Sunil Arora, had said before demitting CEC office that a plan to cap expenditure on election campaigning would see "the light of day in time to come".

News18.com

Updated:December 3, 2018, 12:51 PM IST
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New Delhi: Two days after demitting the office of Chief Election Commissioner, OP Rawat has said that demonetisation didn’t help in checking misuse of black money in polls as it was expected to do. In fact, he said that some states reported more seizures compared to previous years.

“After demonestisation it was thought that misuse of money during election will be brought down. But it couldn't be proved on basis of the data of the seizures. Compared to previous elections, there were more seizures in the same states,” ANI quoted Rawat as saying.

“It seems political class and their financiers have no dearth of money. Money used in this manner, is generally black money. As far as black money used in election is concerned, there was no check on it,” he reportedly added.

Rawat, who has been succeeded by Sunil Arora, had said before demitting office that a plan to cap expenditure on election campaigning would see "the light of day in time to come".

Rawat had said his "only regret" as head of the poll panel was that the EC was unable to recommend to the Law Ministry a fresh "legal framework" in tune with the changing times vis-a-vis the use of money and social media.

"... all political party meeting in August (this year) had recommended that there should be a ceiling on party expenditure and commensurately there should be transparency in funding. I think it will see the light of day in time to come," he said.

The election watchdog has been pushing for greater transparency in election-related expenditure by parties and candidates.

Like individuals, there should be a ceiling on expenditure by political parties during polls, according to the Election Commission, which has referred the matter to the Law Ministry for legislative action.

At present, there is a ceiling on campaigning funds for individual candidates in the electoral fray but no cap on the money political parties can spend for electioneering.

The ceiling varies from state to state depending on its population and number of assembly or Lok Sabha seats.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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