EC heat on Ashok Chavan, Madhu Koda(JUST OUT OF CONTEXT,I NEED TO MENTION THAT DURING SURVEY FOR VOTER LIST I FELT PURPLEXED SEEING COLOUMN SHOWING CATEGORIES IN CHART...WORKING/NOT WORKING/BUSINESS....THEY KEPT "HOUSEWIVES AND PROSTITUTES IN THE SAME CATEGORY...ITS UNFAIR.DEFINITLY ONE CAN AMPATHIZED WITH THEM,THERE PROBLEMS AS HUMAN BEINGS,SO AS WITH THIRD GENDERS ACCLAIMERS BUT ONE SHOULDN'T PUT THEM WITH THE HOUSEWIVES CATEGORY"....MR EC I HAD PASTED THIS NEWS IN THIS BLOG AND HAD WRITTEN MY VIEWS/PROTEST THEN ONLY!!...IF POSSIBLE/MUST INCLUDE THE CORRECTION OF SURVEY PAPERS IN ELECTION REFORMS LIST!!....VT
TNN | Oct 22, 2011, 02.29AM IST
NEW DELHI: Umlesh Yadav of the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal may have earned the dubious distinction of being the first legislator to be disqualified for failing to account for money spent on advertisements passed as news items but similar action could be taken against former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda.
"We have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to paid news and expenditure irregularities by poll candidates," a senior Election Commission source said. While the case of Umlesh Yadav, Koda and Chavan came to light after complaints filed by others, EC officials said it was not averse to taking suo motu action wherever it finds violation of expenditure rules and cases of paid news.
As for Umlesh Yadav, EC said action was also being contemplated against her husband, D P Yadav, who is the president of the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal. The money paid to two Hindi newspapers was sourced to D P Yadav.
The fate of Chavan and Koda would be decided soon. The crucial hearing in Koda's case was to take place on Friday but had to be postponed to November 14 as the former CM's counsel sought an adjournment. Chavan's case is slated to be heard on November 4. While Koda's case relates to his failure to submit the poll expense account for a 2009 byelection, Chavan is under scrutiny as his poll expenditure of Rs 11,000 is alleged to be much less than what he spent. BJP leaders had complained to the EC that Chavan gave large sums of money to write news favouring him during the Maharashtra assembly election in 2009.
Sources said it was after the Delhi High Court dismissed a petition by Chavan and Koda in September that the doors opened for an EC probe into their poll expenditure as well as the allegation of paid news in case of Chavan. Chavan and Koda had challenged EC's power to probe the issue of poll expenditure. The HC had said, "EC can go into the truthfulness or untruthfulness of the accounts filed by the elected candidates."
An EC source said, "A decision (into the cases of Chavan and Koda) would not take long."
A senior EC official also dismissed allegations that the action against Umlesh Yadav has been harsh since the amount involved for the paid news was just Rs 21,250. "Whatever be the amount, violation of law has to be dealt with," the official said. He also said that the decision against had not been delayed as is being alleged. "The Press Council's order on her case came in March 2010. We immediately started proceedings. The EC decision was taken in March but then Chavan and Koda went to the Delhi High Court. The HC order came only in September," he pointed out.