EC adds new column for candidates to mention expenditure on digital campaigning | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has added a new column in the return of election expenses of candidates to submit information on money spent on digital campaigns in the upcoming elections in five states. Candidates also mentioned money spent on digital campaigns in previous elections, but this is the first time a dedicated column has been created to “capture” details of such spending.
To curb the spread of Covid-19, the Election Commission has extended the ban on road shows and similar physical campaign events until January 22.
With restrictions on outdoor physical events, parties are using digital and online platforms to reach voters.
For the first time in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur, a new column has been created by tweaking the return format.
“Teams and candidates (until now) used to express their own expenses … they provided details of expenditure on things like digital vans … they showed expenses under this category. Now, a dedicated point has been made from this (set) poll to Expenditure is designed to capture, “explained one official.
The employee said it was not the first time that such a statement would be made by candidates and parties. “But the method of disclosure is now dedicated,” the employee explained.
Under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act 1951, a candidate who fails to submit his election expenses within the stipulated time will be disqualified by the EC from contesting the election for three years.
Prior to the announcement of the election schedule, the spending limit of candidates for government campaigns was increased based on the recommendations of the election panel.

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