Election authorities on Wednesday asked actor-politician Sunny Deol, who represents Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab in the Lok Sabha, to explain his election expenditure during the General Elections, PTI reported. The district election office sent the actor a notice after finding he had crossed the statutory limit of Rs 70 lakh.
“We have issued a notice to him [Deol] for reconciliation of accounts and the final figure of the poll expenditure will be known only after the reconciliation and settlement of the accounts,” said District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal. “It is too early to comment on the overspending right now.” The actor defeated Congress nominee Sunil Jakhar by 82,459 votes in the elections.
Even though Ujwal refused to say how much the Bharatiya Janata Party leader had spent, unidentified officials told the news agency that the figure was Rs 86 lakh. The reconciliation of the accounts of all the candidates is expected to continue till June 22 and 23.
Ujjwal asserted it was a “normal statutory notice” that had been sent to every candidate for accounts reconciliation. Deol was the only candidate to have exceeded the expenditure limit, officials said.
Pathankot Mayor Anil Vasudeva, who was closely associated with the BJP MP’s campaign and had also prepared his nomination papers, said a reply would soon be sent to the election authorities. “Yes, we have received the notice and our team will be filing its reply soon,” The Tribune quoted Vasudeva as saying. “We have all the records and will try and match them with those of the observers.”
Details of expenditure by candidates are closely monitored from the day nomination papers are filed till the counting of votes, officials said. “This also includes the money spent during the winning procession, if any, taken out by the candidate,” unidentified officials told the newspaper. “An FIR can be lodged against the erring candidate if he does not come up with a plausible explanation which is suitable to the district collector cum returning officer and the observers.”
On May 15, the Election Commission had issued an order to add Rs 1.74 lakh to Deol’s poll expense after he failed to respond to its query about a Facebook page being run in his support, PTI reported. The directive was issued after a complaint by the Congress, which claimed the social media page, “Fans of Sunny Deol”, was being run without prior permission of the Election Commission.