Mumbai: The Election Commission (EC) is likely to issue a notice against senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde after he stoked a controversy by his candid admission about spending Rs 8 crore on his 2009 Lok Sabha campaign.
Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said that EC will act after proper verification. Sampath said, "We will verify his statement and then take appropriate action as per the law. At this stage, I cannot say what the action will be."
Munde had on Thursday also openly dared the Election Commission to act against him for his remark and sought state funding of elections to check use of black money.
Supporting Munde, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said, "As Munde has raised very valid issue of government funding of the election and also rising expenditure in the election, I thing he has flagged very important discussion in the country."
Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi hitting out at the BJP leader said, "Gopinath Munde has violated the law of the land. If he has made this confession, then the EC should carry out an investigation in this."
"Gopinath Munde has accepted that he had spent Rs 8 crore during the election campaign. This amount is much more than the prescribed limit by the Election Commission. I therefore request the commission to take action and disqualify Mr Munde," Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said.
"I spent Rs 29,000 when I contested my first Assembly poll in 1980. But had to spend Rs 8 crore for my last (2009 Lok Sabha) election," Munde, BJP's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, had said at a book release function on Thursday in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari.
"I hope no Election Commission official is present among the audience. Even if an Election Commission authority is present, six more months are to go for the Lok Sabha polls. Even if a case is filed, so be it," he had said.
Reacting to the BJP leader's remarks, Maharashtra Home Minister had demanded that the poll panel take note of it and decide whether such candidates should be allowed to contest in future.
The Union Law Ministry had in February 2011 raised the maximum limit on expenses that can be incurred by a candidate contesting Lok Sabha poll from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 40 lakh.
With Additional Inputs From PTI