The Election Commission (EC) has issued guidelines for candidates on use of helicopters during election campaign.

It has directed them to provide travel plan details to deputy commissioners, who are also returning officers, in advance.

Disclosure of details

Candidates have to disclose the destination, take-off, landing, and number of people travelling by the helicopter to the Deputy Commissioner to avoid problems at non-commercial airports, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told presspersons here on Saturday.

The expenditure on the use of hired aircraft/helicopter by “star” campaigners of political parties, who frequently use special aircraft/helicopters for poll campaign, would be included in the expenditure list of political parties after the filing of nominations commenced, he said. Candidates would start filing nominations after April 10.

He made it clear that if the list of “star” campaigners was given to the office of the CEO by political parties the travel expenses of such campaigners would not be added to the candidates’ expenditure.

If the candidate, his representative, or any other leader of the political party were to share such a transport facility with the “star” campaigner, then 50 per cent of the expenditure for hiring such facility would be included in the respective candidate’s election account. If more than one candidate shared the facilities, then 50 per cent of the travel expenditure would be apportioned among such candidates, the guidelines said.

Where it’s not applicable

However, these guidelines would not apply if an attendant, security guard or medical attendant travels with the “star” campaigner and expenditure incurred on them should not be included in the candidate’s expenditure, provided such personal staff do not play any role in the campaign.

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