ECI Orders Probe into Union Minister’s Asset Declaration Amid Allegations of Discrepancies

ECI-Rajeev Chandrasekhar

NEW DELHI: In a significant move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has instructed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to scrutinize the affidavit details of Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nominee for the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency. This directive follows a formal complaint lodged by the Indian National Congress (INC), alleging inconsistencies between the actual and declared assets in Chandrasekhar’s affidavit.

The ECI’s action mandates the CBDT to investigate any potential discrepancies. Under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, any misrepresentation or concealment within an affidavit is a punishable offense.

Previously, Chandrasekhar reported a taxable income of ₹680 for the fiscal year 2021-22. His electoral affidavit also disclosed a taxable income of ₹5,59,200 for 2022-23. Additionally, he declared ownership of non-agricultural land in Koramangala, Bengaluru, and a vintage Indian Scout motorcycle.

ECI-Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The controversy has heightened as Chandrasekhar prepares to contest the upcoming elections from Thiruvananthapuram, challenging the incumbent Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and the Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Pannyan Raveendran. The INC’s complaint has brought to light the critical issue of transparency in the asset declarations by public officials, which is essential for maintaining public trust in the electoral process.