New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Anil Desai on Wednesday suggested the Election Commission to set the upper limit of expenditure for assembly elections at Rs 28 lakhs, during a review meeting on poll preparedness conducted ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Anil Desai said, “We have asked Election commission to increase expenditure limit for assembly elections & rationalise submission of criminal antecedents by candidates. The upper limit is set at 28 lakhs. Of this 10-12 lakhs are spent on criminal antecedents.”

The review meeting was attended by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, officials of the state election commission and state police officers. EC also held discussions with several other political parties.

Notably, the Shiv Sena leader Desai said, “Election Commission is looking after the poll preparation. They are meeting with political parties. We told them that the Commission should prepare a plan since Diwali festival is also coinciding. We said that the election should be held in phases.”

Desai noted that the Shiv Sena party demanded the setting up of a Media Certification Committee 24×7 and approving the publicity material quickly. The party also requested an increase in the expenditure of a candidate, added the Shiv Sena leader.

When asked about the election expenditure, Nationalist Congress Party Nawab Malik told news agency ANI, “We requested that election expenditure should be increased. There is also a deadline for permission for only 24 hours. We have urged that it should be increased to seven days.” The NCP leader further said that there is no point in raising the EVM tampering issue as decisions on it cannot be taken. “People have fears about hacking in their mind, we will think about it,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Assembly elections are scheduled to be conducted in October-November this year.