Limit on poll expenditure raised

In an attempt to deal with the use of black money in elections, the maximum poll expenditure for parliamentary constituencies has been increased to Rs 40 lakh and to Rs 16 lakh for assembly constituencies. Expenditure limit varies according to the size of states. On Wednesday, law ministry issued a notification amending the Conduct of Election Rules. At present, in big states, the upper spending limit in parliamentary constituency is Rs 25 lakh and Rs 10 lakh in assembly constituency. Electoral candidates in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand would be able to spend Rs 40 lakh per constituency in parliamentary election and Rs 16 lakh in assembly election. In case of Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, while the upper limit for expenditure in parliamentary election is Rs 40 lakh, for assembly election there is a variation. In HP and Uttarakhand, acandidate can spend only Rs 11 lakh for assembly constituency while in case of Nagaland and Tripura, it is Rs 8 lakh. In J&K, because of its special status, election expenditure for parliamentary election is Rs 40 lakh while for assembly election the maximum limit has been left to the state election commission. In Goa, the upper limit for expenditure in parliamentary constituency is Rs 22 lakh and Rs 8 lakh for assembly constituency.

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