EC’s on lookout for dummies, to penalise too

The move is supposed to check the misuse of money power in the run up to Assembly elections in Delhi.

To maintain level-playing field for all the candidates in the fray, the Election Commission will keep a watchful eye for identifying and penalising the dummy candidates. The move is supposed to check the misuse of money power in the run up to Assembly elections in Delhi.

“Strict action will be initiated against such dummy candidates, who are non serious in contesting polls but are put in the fray by candidates of political parties, in case they offer their facilities to other candidates after nomination,” special chief electoral officer Shurbir Singh said.

Though in the electoral law there was no mention about dummy candidates, it had become a practice for political parties to field such candidates.

The Election Commission believes that dummy candidates are put by major political parties “for misusing” vehicle permission or election agents for campaigning granted to the candidates.

As a measure, if the vehicle for which permission is given to a particular candidate is used for campaign purpose of another candidate, then the permission will be withdrawn and the vehicle will be seized by flying squads.

Flying squads will also give a report to the assistant expenditure observer for adding the expenditure in the hands of the candidate who was actually using the vehicle.

Further, to deter the dummy candidates, permission for public rally would not be given if the candidate does not produce his accounts for inspection without valid reasons. A show cause notice would be issued for not producing accounts before the permission for the public rally is rejected.

According to Election Commission rules, a particular candidate can use only 10 vehicles in a convoy. Also individual candidates have to adhere to the ceiling of Rs 14 lakh on election expenditure.

If found violating the election rules, action would be initiated against such candidates under Section 171 H – illegal payments in connection with an election ¬¬- of the Indian Penal Code.

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