290 Urban Local Bodies candidates disqualified

290 Urban Local Bodies candidates disqualified

Urban Local Bodies elections: Highest number of 117 candidates from GHMC

Hyderabad: As many as 293 candidates, who contested in the last municipal elections from the poll-bound Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporations (GHMC), Warangal and Khammam Municipal Corporations, were barred from fighting the forthcoming Urban Local Body elections in the above municipalities as they failed to submit the details of final returns of the election expenditure incurred in the last polls. All the 290 plus candidates have been disqualified from contesting the elections up to June 28, 2022.

The State Elections Commission (SEC), the official agency of the conduct of the local body elections, has disclosed that the highest number of 117 candidates from GHMC have been disqualified from the contest of the elections for not furnishing the details of their poll expenditure in the previous elections held on 2015 and 2016. An SEC official said that in the 45 ward alone, the highest number of 18 candidates who had failed to submit the details of expenditure incurred in the GHMC elections. Ten contestants from 18 wards out of 150 wards in Greater Hyderabad limits also did not furnish the expenditure details.

In the Greater Warangal Corporation, 83 candidates have been disqualified from contesting the elections, officials said that almost all the 58 wards in the Corporation had reported that at least one candidate was barred from contesting elections again.

Ward No 14 candidate Mohammad Farkhan approached the High Court against the SEC's disqualification order and got permission to contest the ensuing municipal corporation election.

The number of candidates barred from contesting elections in the Khammam Municipal Corporation were 93. In 25 ward alone, 10 candidates were disqualified, six candidates from ward 27 and five from ward 19 were barred out of 50 wards in the Corporation.

The SEC said that the candidates will have to submit expenditure details within 45 days of the declaration of the poll results. Other than GHMC, the maximum limit of expenditure being incurred by a candidate in other municipal corporations is Rs 1.5 lakh. In the GHMC limits, the candidates have been permitted to spend up to Rs 5 lakh.

Under the new Municipal Act, the SEC is likely to increase the cap on the poll expenditure being incurred by the candidates in the ensuing elections.

Under the new guidelines on election expenditure monitoring 2019, "every candidate during an election shall either by himself or by his election agent, keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure in connection with the election, incurred or authorized by him or by his election agent between the date on which he has been nominated and the date of declaration of the result thereof," said the official.

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