Rs 30,000 Crore to be Spent on LS Polls
The projected expenditure to elect the 16th Lok Sabha is set to rival approximately $7 billion, Rs.42,000 crore, spent by candidates and parties in the 2012 US presidential elections. Out of the estimated Rs.30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs.7,000 to Rs.8,000 crore to hold the electoral exercise for the 16th Lok Sabha.
The study, conducted by the Centre for Media Studies, attributes the recent decision to hike expenditure limits for the Lok Sabha elections to a maximum of Rs.70 lakh and a minimum of Rs.54 lakh, as one of the reasons for poll spendings likely to touch the Rs.30,000 crore mark. According to a rough estimate, after the hike in poll expenditure cap, candidates in fray for 543 seats alone could spend nearly Rs.4,000 crore in the LS polls.
National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the election expense statements submitted by 437 MPs after the 2009 elections. Here’s what they found:
- 129 (30%) MPs declared Election Expenses of less than 50% during Lok Sabha, 2009
- 418 (96%) MPs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers.
- 22 (5%) MPs have declared that they have not spent any amount on vehicles used.
- 21 (5%) MPs have declared that they have not spent any amount on Campaign Materials and erection of gates, arches, banners etc.
- 123 (28%) MPs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic/print media.
- Out of the 437 MPs analysed, 33 (8%) MPs have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc.
- The minimum expense of about Rs 1.31 lakh, or 5% of the expense limit, has been declared by C.M. Chang of NPF from Nagaland constituency.
- The maximum expense of about Rs 57.39 lakh, or 230% of the expense limit, has been declared by Premdas of SP from Etawah constituency, Uttar Pradesh.