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Demonetisation had no impact on use of black money in elections: Former CEC OP Rawat

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Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Monday said that there was no impact of demonetisation on the misuse of money in elections. "After demonestisation, it was thought that misuse of money during the election will be brought down. But it couldn`t be proved on basis of the data of the seizures. Compared to previous elections, there were more seizures in the same states," he said. The former Chief Election Commissioner also said that there was no check on black money that has been used in the elections. "It seems political class and their financiers have no dearth of money. Money used in this manner is generally black money. As far as black money used in elections is concerned, there was no check on it," he said.  Rawat, who retired as the CEC last week, had said that his "only regret" as head of the poll panel is that the EC was unable to recommend to the Law Ministry a fresh "legal framework" in tune with the changing times vis-a-vis the use of money and social media. Responding to a question on transparency in funding of political parties, Rawat had said that it is "a long-term reform". "... All political party meeting in August (this year) had recommended that there should be a ceiling on party expenditure and commensurately there should be transparency in funding. I think it will see the light of day in time to come. Almost all parties agreed to a cap on expenditure, he said. The election watchdog has been pushing for greater transparency in election-related expenditure by parties and candidates. Like individuals, there should be a ceiling on expenditure by political parties during polls, according to the Election Commission, which has referred the matter to the Law Ministry for legislative action. At present, there is a ceiling on campaigning funds for individual candidates in the electoral fray but no cap on the money political parties can spend for electioneering. 

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