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Election commission stumped by Rs50,000 cr black money

New Delhi, Apr 11 (): Election Commission is yet to come out with a fool-proof system that can stop black money flow into election expenditure.

The current elections according to survey reports say that around Rs 50,000 crore black money is in play. Election Commission put in an expenditure monitoring division in 2010 and asked candidates to open a separate account from which poll expenses should be debited and credited. The money that is spent on campaigning should go from this account.

Yogendra Yadav of AAP said that the account given to Election Commission is only an eyewash. The candidate maintains a benami account from which cash flows. The payments for publicity materials are made from the official account. Election Commission officials are taking videos of rallies and meetings and putting this expenditure on the candidate’s account. This takes place in cities while in rural India the game is different.

Estimates put around 11 million people working in conduct of election and less than 10 per cent are put to check on spending. V Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner shows the Election Commission has put in place flying squads to check vehicles and places for unaccounted cash along with risk surveillance teams and maintains a parallel accounting of candidate spending.

The Election Commission has a committee with officials from DRI, Intelligence wing of Finance ministry and Coast Guard. The Election Commission can check transfers done through banks but can do little when it comes through hawala route.

Eight assembly segments form a LS constituency and each assembly seat has an in-charge who is paid anything from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. This in-charge reports directly to the candidate. Under each in-charge, there are two block in-charge persons who are paid Rs 50,000 each and under them is around 200 panchayat chiefs who are paid Rs 25,000 each. This apart, the money for workers canvassing and money for votes takes the spending by candidate to dizzy heights.

Since Election Commission squads are vigilant in cities, the assembly in-charges hand over money to wine shops and eateries in their areas with a list of the workers. As evening comes when the campaign ends, the workers make a beeline to these shops to collect the liquor and biryani along with a five hundred rupee note. If the worker is embroiled in a fight with rival party workers or attacks them then he gets more money.