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Election Commission orders Congress to file its annual audit report within 30 days

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Election Commission has ordered Congress to file their annual audit report within 30 days. The poll panel wrote a letter to the party in response to Congress’ objection to its transparency guidelines requiring parties to file their annual audit reports with the commission.

As reported by a national daily, the Election Commission wrote to the Congress on June 9 underlining its powers under Article 324(1) of the Constitution to issue instructions to deal with situations not covered by enacted laws and rules, and directed the grand old party to file a copy of its annual audit report for 2013-14 within 30 days of receipt of its letter.

A few days back, EC had suspended the recognition of P.A. Sangma’s National People’s Party for not filing its expenditure statement for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

According to a report by a leading English daily, a senior commission official indicated that the Congress could face a fate similar to National People’s Party in case it failed to abide by its instructions.

Reportedly, 4 national parties and 28 state parties have already submitted their annual audit reports for 2013- 14 and others are expected to do so after recently being reminded for the third time by EC.

Apart from Congress, even BJP is yet to file its audited annual accounts. However unlike Congress, it hasn’t challenged commission’s transparency guidelines.

Congress, reportedly, had sent a letter to EC on May 15 arguing that the party was already filing its annual audit report along with income tax returns. Section 29C of the RP Act only required parties to submit their annual contribution reports in respect of contributions in excess of Rs 20,000, and there was no requirement to furnish an annual audit report.

“The guidelines issued by the commission cannot override statutory provision…such guidelines are not legally enforceable nor can be implemented until and unless amendment is carried out in the principal Act (RP Act),” said the Congress.

In response to this letter, EC referred to a 1978 Supreme Court verdict in M S Gill Vs the Chief Election Commissioner, underlining that Article 324(1) gave EC residuary powers “in the infinite variety of situations that may emerge from time to time in a large democracy as ours”.

Reportedly it also referred to a 2002 judgment of the SC in Union of India Vs ADR, which said that EC’s jurisdiction is wide enough to include all powers necessary for smooth conduct of elections.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)

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