New Delhi

Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), in a press statement, requests ECI to suspend recognition of parties who have repeatedly defaulted in submitting election expenditure statements for assembly election. ADR statement also laud the Election Commission of  (ECI) for its notice dated 16th June, 2015 suspending the recognition of National Peoples’ Party (NPP) for failing to submit its election expenditure report for  held in 2014, even after multiple reminders were sent by the ECI.

The election expenditure statements of political parties are required to be submitted 75 days after the completion of assembly elections and 90 days from the date of completion of . Based on the information on the website of the ECI, ADR analysed availability of statements of election expenditure incurred by political parties during assembly elections held between 2011 and 2015 in different states.

The ADR, in the statement states, among the national parties, election expenditure statements of  and Congress are not available for five assembly elections held between 2011 and 2015 followed by CPI defaulting with its submission for 4 assembly elections and CPI(M) in one assembly election.

The availability of election expenditure statements of regional parties is equally worrisome where the statements of JD(U) is unavailable for 15 assembly elections while that of LJP is unavailable for 11 assembly elections and election expenditure statements of RSP and Shiv Sena are unavailable for 10 assembly elections held between 2011 and 2015.

“National and Regional Recognised Parties are equal defaulters in submitting expenditure statements for Assembly Elections,” reads the statement, “National and Regional recognised parties, if unrecogised, would not be able to enjoy free airtime and subsidized bungalows among other such facilities.”

ADR recommended that while it is crucial for political parties to submit their expenditure statements for greater financial transparency, it is equally important to file the same within the time limit set by the ECI and endorsed by the Supreme Court of . The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of expenditure to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.

ADR requests the ECI to issue show-cause notices to those recognised parties which have defaulted in filing their election expenditure statements incurred during Assembly Elections held in the last 5 years.

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