SC has stayed the EC order revoking Kamal Nath’s star campaigner status.
- As the Congress leader Kamal Nath remarked on a woman candidate in Madhya Pradesh Assembly bypolls the Election Commission revoked his star campaigner status recently.
- However, the Supreme Court stayed the Election Commission’s order observing that the poll body “has no power” to decide who is a star campaigner.
Who is a star campaigner?
- A star campaigner is a celebrity vote seeker in an election for a party.
- This person can be a politician or even a film star.
- There is no law governing who can or cannot be made a star campaigner.
- They are nominated by the concerned political parties specifying their constituencies and duration of the status.
- Election Commission has issued guidelines on the Model Code of Conduct regulating poll campaigns by them.
- A ‘recognized’ party declared as such by the Election Commission can nominate a maximum of 40 star campaigners.
- An unrecognized political party can nominate a maximum of 20 star campaigners.
- Expenditure incurred on electioneering by the star campaigner is not added to a candidate’s poll expenditure giving him/her more leeway.
- According to the ROPA, 1951, these expenses will be borne by the political parties.
- If she/he shares the stage with a candidate, the entire campaign cost except expenditure incurred on travelling will be added to the candidate’s election expenses.
- The MCC guidelines say when a prime minister or a former prime minister is star campaigner, the expenditure incurred on security including on the bullet-proof vehicles will be borne by the government.