Candidates of all forthcoming elections will have to face tougher rules following complaints against them of excessive expenditure during polls. All of them will have to open a separate bank account for election expenditure, all donations, including the candidates’ personal money, will have to be deposited in the account and all payments and expenditure will have to be made by crossed cheque only.
In a recent order passed by the Election Commission of India, every candidate has been asked to open a separate bank account exclusively for election expenses. The bank account number of the candidate has to be communicated to the returning officer.
The bank account can be opened either in the name of the candidate or jointly with the candidate’s election agent. However, the rule mandates that the existing personal bank account of the candidate should not be used for this purpose. Besides, the candidate has to deposit the entire amount meant for election expenditure in the bank account.
The candidate also has to incur his expenses only by crossed ‘account payee’ cheque or draft or by RTGS. However, if the account does not exceed Rs20,000, the candidate can use cash for expenses by withdrawing from the designated bank account.
According to election commission rules, the candidate has to ensure that s/he or her/his agents and followers don’t carry cash exceeding Rs50,000 in the constituency during the election process.