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Rs 16 lakh limit for poll expenses. Only 50 pc spent!

Last updated on: June 25, 2011 22:47 IST

Rs 16 lakh limit for poll expenses. Only 50 pc spent!

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Vicky Nanjappa
The recently concluded assembly polls in the four states -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and one Union Territory -- Puducherry saw a blatant use of money power. But interestingly, the newly elected members of Legislative have claimed in their expense statements submitted to the Election Commission that their expenditure was well below the prescribed limit.

Many have claimed that they spent no money on organising public meetings, or engaging vehicles or publicity campaigns during elections. Here is the analysis of election expenses submitted by the new MLAs for three states that went to polls -- Assam, West Bengal and Kerala.

According to the report prepared by, the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch the average expenditure of most MLAs from the three states during campaigning was between Rs 7 to Rs 9 lakh while the expense limit is up to Rs 16 lakh for every candidate.

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Image: Policemen stand guard during an election campaign rally
Photographs: Reuters
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'163 Bengal MLAs did not spend on media campaigns'

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Based on the election expense declarations of 217 newly-elected MLAs from West Bengal to the EC, the average amount of money spent by each candidate is only about Rs 7 lakh, which is about 44 per cent of the expense limit of Rs 16 lakh.

According to the report, the 33 Congress candidates spent Rs 10,35, 887 each. Of the 129 Trinamool Congress candidates every candidate spent Rs 7,06,881 on an average and each of the 32 Communist Party of India candidates spent Rs 7,06,881. The individual expenses of Independent candidates was an average Rs  15,21,610.    

Only six MLAs have declared that they have spent more than 80 per cent of the amount allotted to them that is around Rs 13 lakh. A total of 147 MLAs have declared election expenses to be less than Rs 8 lakh.

Trinamool Congress candidate Smita Bakshi from Jorasanko constituency has spent the most amount on her election campaign -- Rs 15,65,034. She is followed by Hamidul Rahman, an Independent from Chopra constituency (Rs 15 lakh) and TC's Amal Achargee from Itahar constituency (Rs 14 lakh).

The minimum expenses were incurred by TC's Namita Saha. She has declared that the cost of her campaign did not exceed Rs 1,14,489. Kashinath Mishra from the Bankura constituency claims to have spent Rs 1.3 lakh and Bulu Chik Baraik around Rs 1.4 lakh.

Expense on public meetings and processions: Out of all the 217 MLAs analysed, three declared that they did not spend any amount on public meetings, processions.

Expense on campaigning through electronic/print media: 163 MLAs have declared that they did not spend any amount on campaigning through electronic or print media. Twenty-six MLAs claim to have spent less that Rs 10,000.

Expense on campaign workers: While 53 MLAs have declared that they did not spend any amount on campaign workers, 26 MLAs say they spent Rs 10,000.

Expense on vehicles and campaign material: Three MLAs have declared that they did not spend any amount on vehicles for campaigning. Three others say that they did use banners, posters and loudspeakers.

Image: Labourers prepare metal campaign props in the shape of flowers, a symbol of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal
Photographs: Reuters
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Only 4 Kerala MLAs spent more than Rs 13 lakh on campaigning

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According to the report, of the 19 MLAs from the Muslim League each spent Rs 10.5 lakh on preparations for the polls. The expenses incurred by each of the 38 Congress candidates, 45 CPI-M candidates and 13 from the CPI were Rs 10,04,103, Rs 8,12,140 and Rs 8,91,560 respectively.   

Only four MLAs have declared that they have spent more than 80 per cent of the amount i.e. over 13 lakh for campaigning.

Thirty-nine MLAs have declared that they spent less than 50 per cent of the election limit of Rs 16 lakh. 

Muslim League's Basheer who contested from the Eranad constituency has spent the most for his campaign -- Rs 15,24,665. Kunhalikutty also from the Muslim League from Vengara constituency spent Rs 14 lakh and B Sathyan of the CPI-M from Attingal constituency declared his expenses as Rs 13 lakh.

CPI-M's K Kunhiraman spent the least on campaigning in the state, which is Rs 2,49,667. He is followed by Congress candidate Jayalakshmi who claims to have spent Rs 4 lakh and CPI-M's Jayachandran whose expenses amounted to Rs 4.5 lakh.

Expense on public meetings and processions: Eight MLAs have declared that they have spent less than Rs 10,000 on public meetings, processions etc in the last elections.

Expense on campaigning through electronic and print media: Fifty four MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through the media, while 19 have spent less than Rs 10,000.

Expense on campaign workers: 39 MLAs have declared that they have not spent on campaign workers and 13 MLAs say workers cost them Rs 10,000 or less.


Image: A tableau in a Communist rally in Kerala showing two farmers forming the hammer and sickle

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Rs 15.9 lakh, the maximum money spent by Assam MLA on campaigning

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As per the declaration of Assam MLAs, the average expenditure of each of the 78 Congress MLAs was Rs 10,12,448. Each of Bodoland Peoples Front's 13 MLAs spent Rs 8,26,773, expenses of 10 Asom Gana Parishad MLA's came up to Rs Rs 7,45,609 per candidate and that of All India United Democratic Front's 18 MLAs were Rs 6,36,252 each.       

Only seven MLAs have declared that they have spent more than Rs 14 lakh on elections. A total of 46 MLAs have declared that their election expenses were less that Rs 8 lakh.

With Rs 15,99,057 as election expenses, Congress's Abu Taher Bepari is the candidate who spent the most and Monika Bora from the Gohpur constituency comes a close second (Rs 15.91 lakh). She is followed by Dr Nazrul Islam from Laharighat constituency who spent Rs 15.12 lakh.

AIUDF's Abul Kalam Azad expenses were minimal -- Rs 1, 73,628. Moinuddin Ahmed of the AIUDF from Jaleswar incurred expenses of Rs 2.12 lakh, while Rakheswar Brahma of the BPF spent Rs 2.84 lakh.

Expense on public meetings and processions: Out of all the 126 MLAs analysed, nine declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc as per their election expenses. Three MLAs have spent less than Rs 10,000.

Expense on campaigning through electronic and print media: 95 MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic and print media, while seven say they spent less than Rs 10,000.

Expense on campaign workers: 34 MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers; four MLAs have spent less Rs 10,000.

Expense on vehicles, banners used: Nineteen MLAs have declared that they have spent less than Rs 1 lakh on vehicles. Two MLAs say that they have spent no amount on posters, banners and other campaign material. 

Image: An election rally in Assam

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