New Delhi, Oct 14: Terming the Election Commission a toothless tiger, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi on Friday said that the poll panel has never derecognised any political party for not submitting poll expenditure details within the stipulated time.

While delivering a guest lecture at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, Gandhi also asserted that the political parties spend a lot on poll campaign, denying opportunity to people from humble background to contest elections.

“One of the biggest problems is the problem of the Election Commission which is really a toothless tiger. Article 324 of the Constitution says it (EC) controls and supervises elections. But does it really do that? It does not have the power to file cases once elections are over. It has to go to the Supreme Court to do so,” said Gandhi, who represents Sultanpur seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Referring to the political parties’poll campaign, the BJP leader said, “Technically, an MLA (candidate) can spend between Rs 20 and Rs 28 lakh and an MP (aspirant) Rs 54-Rs 70 lakh. But you are not told that political parties spend unlimited amounts on elections…It is a skewed form of political expenditure which ensures that no middle class or poor people can fight elections anymore”.

Notably, his remarks came at a time when the BJP is under opposition attack for “pressuring” the Election Commission to not declare elections to the Gujarat Assembly with those for Himachal Pradesh legislature. The Congress had accused the BJP of using “shameless pressure tactics” with the EC so it could woo the voters in Gujarat with last-minute sops.