Election expenditure: Spent crores during polls, ministers & MLAs confine to EC limit
Interesting facts have come to light from the details of the election expenditures submitted by the elected legislators -who are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The legislators from the BJP, which has formed the government in the state, and the Congress, whose 21 MLA were elected to the House, have tried to confine the expenditure on their election within the limit fixed by the EC.
As per the data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), Kishori Lal, a BJP MLA from Anni town in Kullu district spent Rs 25,83,669 which is highest, during the election campaign .
Lal is closely followed by Rajiv Saizal, now a cabinet minister, who declared that he spent Rs 24,85,389 at Kasauli in Solan district. Hira Lal (BJP) has submitted details of Rs 22.95,220 after his election from Karsog in Mandi.
Three highest spending MLAs have spent 92 per cent, 88 per cent and 82 per cent respectively against total fixed expenditure of Rs 28 lakhs.
The lowest spending MLAs included Congress MLAs Mohan lal Brakta (Rohru) and Anirush Singh (Kasumpti), who spent Rs 3.88,657 and 6.48,950 respectively. The BJP MLA from Hamirpur, Narinder Thakur spent Rs 7.10,735.
Of 68 elected MLAs, 25 have declared expenses below the 50 per cent of total limit (Rs 28 lakh). Based on the election expense declarations, the average amount spent by MLAs is Rs 15.26 lakh, according to the report compiled by ADR. “Major part of the expenditure is on election rallies and campaign material,” said the report.
In the break-up, nearly 23 per cent of the total expenditure of the elected legislators is on public meetings with star campaigners, while 22 per cent money was spent on campaign material. Candidates spent 18 per cent of money on campaign workers and 17 per cent on vehicles.
The details say 12 MLAs declared that they did not spent any amount on public meetings, processions with star campaigners while 16 others declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic or print media. About 17 MLAs declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers.
Interestingly, eight MLAs declared that they have not spent a single penny on campaign materials while three of total said not money spent on campaign vehicles.
Former Chief minister Virbhadra Singh claimed to have spent Rs 18.68 lakhs and his son Virkramaditya Singh Rs 13,26 lakh. Seniormost cabinet minister Mahender Singh ,who has not lost any election since 1990 has declared expenditure of Rs 8.53 lakhs only.