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Star Campaigners

Star Campaigners:

Political parties are appointing ‘star campaigners’ for their campaign in the ongoing general elections.

  • Star Campaigners in election is a famous person with a huge fan following chosen by a political party to contest or campaign during elections.
  • The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act) provides for law relating to expenditure incurred by ‘leaders of a political party’.
  • These ‘leaders of a political party’ are popularly known as ‘star campaigners’. These are usually the top leaders of the party but can include other celebrities as well.
  • The RP Act provides that a recognised political party (National or State) can appoint a maximum of 40 star campaigners while a registered unrecognised political party can appoint up to 20.
  • These names are to be communicated to the Election Commission (EC) and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the States as applicable within seven days from the date of notification of such election.
  • In case of a multi-phase election, a political party can submit separate list of star campaigners for different phases.
  • If in any rally/meeting organised, the star campaigner seeks votes in the name of contesting candidate(s) or shares the dais with them, then the rally/meeting expense shall be apportioned to the election expenditure of such candidate(s).
  • If the star campaigner incurs boarding/lodging expenses while campaigning for any candidate(s), it shall be included in the expenditure account of such candidate(s) irrespective of whether it is paid for by the candidate(s).
  • If any candidate(s) travel with the star campaigner, then 50% of the travel expenditure of the star campaigner shall also be apportioned to such candidate(s).
  • When a Prime Minister or a former Prime Minister is a star campaigner, the expenditure on security including on bullet-proof vehicles will be borne by the government.
  • But if the Prime Minister is accompanied by another star campaigner, the candidate has to bear 50 per cent of expenditure on the security arrangements