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ECI sends notice to Rashid

Srinagar, July 4: The Election Commission of India has sent a notice to jailed MP Abdul Rashid Sheikh, also known as Engineer Rashid over disparity in his election expenditure report for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency.

The notice was served by the Deputy District Election Officer in Baramulla, highlighting the expenditure register submitted by Rashid showed Rs 2.10 lakh, while the actual amount recorded by observers amounted to Rs 13.78 lakh.

The notice requested Rashid or his representative to appear before the district expenditure monitoring committee within two days to address the discrepancy and ensure timely submission of the expenditure report to the Election Commission of India.

“A failure to comply with election expense reporting requirements could lead to disqualification by the Election Commission under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, for a period of three years”, the notice said.
Rashid won the Baramulla seat to become MP by defeating National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Rashid who is in Tihar Jail has been granted a two-hour custody parole to take oath as a Lok Sabha member on July 5. He had sought interim bail or custody parole to fulfil his Parliamentary duties.

According to the FIR by the NIA, the case against Rashid was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through illegal means to fund separatist and militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in the Valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India. His name cropped up during the interrogation of businessman and co-accused Zahoor Watali.

The AIP spokesman Firdous Ahmad Baba told Excelsior that they have filed a reply with the Election officer regarding the issue.

“This is a routine and almost every party has been issued such a notice. As per our account records our election expenditure is Rs 2.1 lakh but the observers put it at over Rs 13 lakh. The party has only spent Rs 2.1 lakh but there were volunteers in our rallies who brought their own vehicles and banners as well which were not paid by the party nor we asked them to do so,” he said.
Baba said that it is the AIP which has spent least on the election campaign.


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