MPs spent an average of Rs.4.3 million to fight polls
Newly-elected members of the 16th Lok Sabha spent an average of Rs. 4.3 million during their election campaign, according to an analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The analysis based on the election expense declarations of 537 MPs from Lok Sabha to the election commission shows that the party wise average election expenses spending for 277 MPs from Bharatiya Janata Party is Rs 4.18 million and for 44 MPs from Congress is Rs 4.16 million.
The 37 MPs of AIADMK spent Rs. 3.5 million and for the 34 MPs from Trinamool Congress, the expenditure was Rs.4.6 million.
The expenditure limits for Lok Sabha elections were raised this year from Rs.4 million to Rs.7 million for each Lok Sabha constituency in bigger states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka and from Rs 2.2 million to Rs.5.4 million in smaller states like Goa.
The report said that while candidates have constantly claimed that the election expenditure limit set is very low, the analysis of the election expense declarations shows that 176 MPs (33 percent) have declared election expenses of less than 50 percent of the expense limit in their constituency.
ADR said that the revision of election expenditure limits came after sustained efforts by the candidates contesting elections. However, upon analyzing the expenditure statements submitted by the MPs of the Lok Sabha 2014 elections to the election commission, it was seen that the MPs continue to declare election expenditure which is significantly lower than the expense limit.
The maximum expense of about Rs.8.2 million has been declared by Gourav Gogoi of Congress from Kaliabor constituency, Assam followed by Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava of BJP from Bharuch constituency, Gujarat with an expense of Rs.6.7 million.
Shyama Charan Gupta of BJP from Allahabad constituency, Uttar Pradesh has declared the lowest election expenditure of Rs.39,369 followed by Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati of TDP from Vizianagaram Constituency, Andhra Pradesh with election expenses of Rs.4.10 lakh.
The analysis shows that 35 ministers in the new government spent only about Rs.3.8 million, which is 56 percent of the expense limit while the minister with highest expenditure is Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava of BJP from Bharuch constituency with Rs.6.7 million.
(Posted on 02-08-2014)