EC disqualifies MP minister for hiding paid news details

EC disqualifies MP minister for hiding paid news details

 The EC has debarred Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra from contesting elections for three years for submitting a false account of his expenses during the 2008 Assembly polls.

Mishra holds water resources, legislative affairs and information portfolios in the BJP government led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The disqualification order issued by the EC would mean that he would not be able to contest the state Assembly elections next year.

It also means that he would not be able to remain a minister of the state Assembly for the next three years.

The EC took the decision acting on a complaint that he had not included in his statement of expenditures the expenses he had incurred over “paid news” during the campaign for the 2008 polls.

His election from the Datia Assembly constituency in 2008 also stands void.
On Saturday, Mishra said he will move the high court to challenge the order.

He dismissed the demand put forward by the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party for his resignation, pointing out that the EC order was in connection with the 2008 election, and that he won from the constituency again in 2013.

The EC observed in its order issued on Friday that Mishra had not only “knowingly submitted” to the poll-panel “a false account of expenses”, but had also “attempted to circumvent the legally prescribed limit on expenditure”.Mishra had contested the elections as a BJP candidate and had defeated Rajendra Bharati of the Congress.

“Such attempts need to be curbed with strong measures, visited with exemplary sanctions and the balance in the electoral playing field must be restored,” the EC noted, declaring Mishra disqualified for three years under “Section 10A read with Sections 77 and 78 of the Representations of People Act, 1951”.

The complaint to the EC was lodged by Mishra’s rival Bharati in April 2009.

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