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Who is a star campaigner?

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Who is a star campaigner?


Context:

The Election Commission has revised norms for star campaigners for polls during the pandemic.

Changes proposed:

  • Maximum number of star campaigners reduced from 40 to 30 for a recognised party.
  • For unrecognised registered parties, the number of star campaigners has been reduced from 20 to 15.
  • Besides, they now require permission from the district election official 48 hours prior to campaigning.

Who are star campaigners?

They can be described as persons who are nominated by parties to campaign in a given set of Constituencies. These persons are, in almost all cases, prominent and popular faces within the Party. However, there are no specific definitions according to law or the Election Commission of India.

Benefits:

The expenditure incurred on campaigning by such campaigners is exempt from being added to the election expenditure of a candidate. However, this only applies when a star campaigner limits herself to a general campaign for the political party she represents.

What if a star campaigner campaigns specifically for one candidate?

If a candidate or her election agent shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally, then the entire expenditure on that rally, other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner, is added to the candidate’s expenses.

  • Even if the candidate is not present at the star campaigner’s rally, but there are posters with her photographs or her name on display, the entire expenditure will be added to the candidate’s account.
  • This applies even if the star campaigner mentions the candidate’s name during the event. When more than one candidate shares the stage, or there are posters with their photographs, then the expenses of such rally/meeting are equally divided between all such candidates.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who is a star campaigner?
  2. How they are recognised?
  3. Recommended limits on their number by Election Commission.
  4. Benefits.

Sources: the Hindu.