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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

Last updated on: June 27, 2011 12:44 IST

Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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Vicky Nanjappa

The manner in which Members of Legislative Assembly spent their funds during the recent four-state assembly elections is something that needs to be looked into.

The election expenses of all MLAs in the recent five-assembly elections have been analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms in association with the National Election Watch

In Tamil Nadu, the figures just do not match up. The cash seized by Election Commission expenditure observers reached record levels with more than Rs 60 crore being seized from Tamil Nadu alone. 

However, the analysis shows that 76 MLAs declared that they did not spend any money on public meetings, processions etc. This despite each party and candidate claiming huge crowds in their rallies during elections.

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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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In Assam, 126 MLAs together claim to have spent Rs 9.01 lakh, Kerala Rs 9.39 lakh (139 MLAs), West Bengal Rs 7.06 lakh (217 MLAs) and Tamil Nadu Rs 7.12 lakh (234 MLAs) and Puducherry Rs 3.12 lakh (39 MLAs).

The above trends indicate that on an average MLAs spent way below the expense limit.

MLAs in Assam spent 56 per cent on poll campaigns, in Kerala 50 per cent, in Puducherry 39 per cent, in West Bengal 44 per cent and in Tamil Nadu 45 per cent.

Now here's the flip-side. In just one raid, Rs 5.11 crore was seized from a private bus in Tiruchirappalli. In another raid in Madurai, Rs 3.5 crore was seized. The highest expense reported by any MLAs is mere Rs 15.99 lakh.



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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The top three declarations across the five assemblies are from Abu Taher Bepari of INC from Golakganj, Assam (Rs 15.99 lakh), Smiti Monika Bora of INC from Gohpur, Assam (Rs 15.91 lakh) and K T Pachaimal of AIADMK from Kanniyakumari, TN (Rs 15.73 lakh).

The lowest expenses declared are by A Soundararajan of CPI-M from Perambur, TN (Rs 75,600) followed by Namita Saha of AITC from Magrahat Purba, WB (1.14 lakh) and Kashinath Mishra of All India Trinamool Congress from Bankura, WB (Rs 1.35 lakh).

While there was huge discussion on paid news, most MLAs (376 of them) have declared that they did not spend any money on campaign through electronic/print media.

About 183 MLAs declared that they have not spent any money on campaign workers.

While most vehicles were found to be rented during elections and candidates travel in large cavalcades, eight MLAs have declared that they did not spend any money on vehicles.



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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Ten MLAs have declared that they did not spend any money on any type of campaign materials. 

The candidates were to declare all of them within 30 days of election (by June 13). It took ECI another week to put the scanned copies of them on the Internet (June 20).

Although money power was blatantly on display during the recent elections, the new MLAs to these assemblies (TN, WB, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry) have shown the average amount of total money spent in their election to be only between Rs 3.12 lakh and Rs 9.39 lakh (39 per cent and 59 per cent of the limit) in their declarations to the Election Commission.

Let's take a look at the top three spenders from each state...



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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Assam

Abu Tehar Bepari, Congress: Rs 15.99 lakh

Monika Bora, Congress: Rs 15. 91 lakh

Dr Nazrul Islam, Congress: Rs 15. 12 lakh


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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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Kerala

Basheer, Muslim League: Rs 15.24 lakh

Kunjalikutty, Muslim League: Rs 13.99 lakh

B Sathyan, CPI-M: Rs 13.8 lakh



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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West Bengal

Smita Bakshi, All India Trinamool Congress: Rs 15.66 lakh

Hamidul Rehman, Independent: Rs 15.21 lakh

Amal Acharjee, AITC: Rs 14.16 lakh



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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Tamil Nadu

Pachaimal, AIADMK: Rs 15.73 lakh

Dr Krishnasamy, Puthiya Thamilagam: Rs 15.35 lakh

Anita Radhakrishnan, DMK: Rs 15. 04 lakh

Puducherry

E Valsaraj, Congress: Rs 5.30 lakh

G Nehru, All India N R Congress: Rs 5.12 lakh

M Chandrakasu, All India N R Congress: Rs 4.49 lakh


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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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The Lowest Spenders

A Soundarajan (CPI-M), Perambur constituency, TN: Rs 75,000

Namita Saha (AITC), Magrahat Purba constituency, WB: Rs 1.14 lakh

Kashinath Mishra (AITC) Bankura constituency, WB: Rs 1.34 lakh

The Zero Spenders

Bhupen Ray (AGP- Assam), P R N  Thirumurugan (Congress, Puducherry), A R Ranganathan (AIADMK-Tamil Nadu) and 73 others have declared that they have not spent a single penny  for public meetings, processions etc.



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Assembly polls: The BIG and ZERO spenders

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There are 376 MLAs from all five states who have stated that they have not spent anything on campaign through electronic/print media.

183 MLAs have stated that they have borne zero expenditure on campaign workers during the elections.

Eight MLAs have declared that they have not spent any money on the use of vehicles during campaigns while 10 have stated that they have not used any money for campaign material.


Image: File photo of DMDK leader Vijayakanth at a rally

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