Sunny Deol in soup for election overspending

Sunny Deol in soup for election overspending

In case the charge against him is established, Sunny Deol may also stare at the extreme possibility of disqualification from his seat under relevant provisions of the Representation of People’s Act. (File Photo)

Actor-turned-parliamentarian Sunny Deol finds himself in trouble over alleged overspending during his Lok Sabha contest from Punjab.

In case the charge against him is established, Sunny Deol may also stare at the extreme possibility of disqualification from his seat under relevant provisions of the Representation of People’s Act.

Deol has been served a notice to explain the irregularity. Sunny Deol won the Lok Sabha seat from border town Gurdaspur in his debut elections as a BJP nominee.

Deol allegedly exceeded his spending limit in the election campaign which is stipulated by the Election Commission of India (ECI), by over Rs 16 lakh. As per the rule, a candidate can spend a maximum of Rs 70 lakh for contesting the general elections. Sunny Deol, it is alleged, spent in excess of Rs 86 lakh during his poll campaign in Gurdaspur.

According to sources, days before the elections in Punjab on May 23, the election returning officer and Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur apprised the actor of touching his outer limit of expenditure, while advising him to adhere to the expenditure limit during the elections. 

Deol’s lawyer terms the discrepancy an error on part of the election observer. While discounting the charge, Deol’s legal advisor Sanjay Aggarwal has said that all details of expenditure made during the election campaign have been submitted to the authorities concerned and that there was no reason to conceal any fact.

Last month, the Election Commission had issued directions to add Rs 1.74 lakh, spent by Deol for a Facebook page titled 'Fans of Sunny Deol' to the expenditure incurred. 

A notice was also served to the admin of ‘Fans of Sunny Deol’ page and the actor, asking for an explanation. Both had failed to respond.

The BJP, an ally of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, won two of the three seats it contested as part of the seat-sharing arrangement with the SAD. Deol had defeated sitting MP and Congress state President Sunil Jakhar by a margin of over 80,000 votes.

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