Candidates contesting Odisha by-polls can spend more. Here’s why

Bhubaneswar: Candidates contesting in the upcoming by-polls in Odisha can now spend more as the Centre has increased the election expenditure limit for both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

The expenditure limit for Assembly elections in Odisha has been increased from Rs 28 lakh to Rs  30.80 lakh. The Centre revised the expenditure limit in consultation with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The poll expenditure limit of candidates in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections has been increased by 10 per cent. The Ministry of Law and Justice issued a gazette notification in this regard yesterday.

The expenditure limit of candidates in Lok Sabha elections has been increased by from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 77 lakh by a candidate.

The notification, which amended the Conduct of Elections Rules, does not specifically mention the pandemic as a reason for the revised poll expenditure limits, or whether it is limited only to polls slated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the ECI had recommended 10 % hike in expenditure limits for all elections scheduled amid the pandemic. This hike was recommended in the backdrop of curbs imposed to limit public gatherings, which directly affect campaigning strategies deployed by different candidates who would then have to look for alternatives to election rallies.

The poll expenditure limit was last revised upwardly ahead of the 2014 general elections.

It is pertinent to mention here that by-polls will be held for two Assembly Constituencies-Tirtol and Balasore-on November 3.

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