The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has rejected the request of the Election Commission to enhance the weekly cash-withdrawal limit, imposed after demonetisation, for those contesting Assembly elections in five states, prompting an angry reaction from the poll panel.
The Commission had on Wednesday requested RBI to enhance the withdrawal limit of candidates to Rs. 2 lakh from Rs. 24,000 per week imposed post-demonetisation as the nominees would find it difficult to meet campaign expenditure.
But RBI said that it was not possible for it to hike the limit at this stage.
An apparently peeved Commission has now written back to RBI Governor Urjit Patel expressing “serious concern about the cursory manner in which the issue has been dealt with”.
“(It) appears that the RBI has not realised the gravity of the situation. It is reiterated that it is the constitutional mandate of the Commission to conduct free and fair elections and to provide level-playing field to all candidates…In order to facilitate proper conduct of elections, it is imperative that directions issued by the Commission are complied with,” the poll panel said.
It urged the central bank to reconsider the proposal.
On Wednesday, the Commission had told RBI that it has been apprised of the problems candidates were facing due to withdrawal limits imposed after the note ban.