New Delhi, Sept 27: The Election Commission of India on Wednesday barred former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda from contesting election for three years. Madhu Koda was disqualified from contesting election after the panel found discrepancies in his poll expenses affidavit, reported news agency ANI. He was accused of furnishing false election expenditure records after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
An order issued by the Commission said that Koda “stands disqualified for three years” from today for “failing to lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the law and for having no good reason or justification for such failure”. The Commission order signed by Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti and Election Commissioner O P Rawat cited section 10 A of the Representation of the People Act to disqualify Koda.
Madu Koda had come under scanner after the Income Tax department detected an expenditure of about Rs. 7.44 crore by him for poll-related activities, as compared to about Rs. 18 lakh which he has declared as actual expenses. As per the Election Commission guidelines, however, the statutory ceiling for Parliamentary poll candidates in Jharkhand is Rs. 25 lakh.
The IT probe had found that Madhu Koda paid Rs 5 crores to a media group for the publicity campaign. He also paid Rs 28 lakh to some other media groups for the same purpose. However, he mentioned his expenditure at Rs. 6.90 lakh in this category.
In his poll affidavit, Madhu Koda had shown an expenditure of Rs 1,800 for public meetings, Rs 3,12,904 for campaign material, Rs 6,90,430 for the campaign through electronic and print media, Rs 4,89,009 for vehicles used, and miscellaneous expenditure at Rs 3,98,210.
Madhu Koda, who began his political career with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was Chief Minister of Jharkhand from 2006 to 2008. He held several portfolios in BJP-led government from 2000 to 2005.