What is a star campaigner in elections? Anurag Thakur & Parvesh Verma got sacked from the list

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Political parties enlist their star campaigners ahead of the elections


Whenever there are elections in the country, we see political parties spending lots of money and energy on election campaigns. An army of party leaders from various political parties goes from one place to another to address people and attract their votes. Every political party communicates to the Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commission about their star campaigners within a week from the date of notification of an election.

What makes Star campaigners special in elections?

A recognized political party can have 40-star campaigners and an unrecognized (but recognized) political party could have as many as 20-star campaigners. The expenditure incurred on campaigning by star campaigners is exempt from being added to the election expenditure of the particular candidate. However, this applies only when a star campaigner limits the campaign only to a general campaign for the political party he/she represents.

If the candidate or election agent of the candidate shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally, then the entire expenditure on that rally other than travel expenses of the star campaigners is added to the candidate’s expense. Even if the candidate is not present at the rally of the star campaigner, but there are posters with candidate’s photographs or name on display, then also the expenditure will be added to the candidate’s account.

The same condition applies when the star campaigner even mentions the name of the candidate during the event. When more than one candidate shares the stage, or there are posters with their photographs on it, then the expenses on such meeting or rally are equally divided between the candidates in their expenditure account.

Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were recently excluded from the star campaigners list

Recently, BJP’s Anurag Thakur and Parvesh  Verma were sacked as the star campaigner for BJP in the ongoing Delhi Election 2020 campaign. Election Commission removed Anurag Thakur for encouraging the crowd at a rally this week to chant “goli maaro” (gun down traitors) and Parvesh Verma was sacked for his claim that Shaheen Bagh protestors could “enter homes and rape sisters and daughters.”

Now whichever constituency they go for the election meeting, however small it is, and the total expenditure of the event will be counted in the candidate’s expenditure account. Because the candidate cannot afford to breach their expenditure limit of 28 lakhs, they will hesitate to call Anurag Thakur and Pravesh Verma in their constituency.

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