New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) today issued a set of draft “revised” guidelines to political parties asking them not to give cash to their candidates in a bid to curb the menace of blackmoney in elections.

The EC had initially framed these guidelines in September last year, following which political parties were asked to send suggestions and comments before the EC brings these directions into force.

The Commission, in its latest communication, has asked the political parties to send their comments or suggestions withing the next 14 days.

If a reply is not sent by the parties, the EC said it “will be presumed” that they have no comments to offer and the measures will be formally notified.

One of the salient points mooted by the EC this time is that the parties, which desire to provide any amount to its candidates for their election expenses, “shall make such payment, not exceeding the prescribed ceiling, only through crossed account payee cheque or draft or through bank account transfer and not in cash.”

Among the other suggestions is the EC’s long standing view that all political parties “shall submit a copy of the audited annual accounts with auditor’s report for each financial year to it before October 30 of each year.”

These norms were prepared by the EC in consultation with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

“Treasurer of the political party or such person as authorised by the party shall, besides maintaining the accounts at all state and local units, maintain consolidated accounts at the central party headquarters,” says one of the guidelines.

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