Of the 126 MLAs of the State, 65 have declared election expenses of less than 50 per cent of the maximum limit in their respective constituencies.

As per Assam Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) findings on the election expenditure incurred by the people’s representatives in the Assam Assembly election 2016, the average amount of money spent by each of them in the democratic exercise was only about Rs 14.78 lakh, which is 53 per cent of the expense limit.

According to Section 78 of the Representation of People Act 1951, every contesting candidate has to submit a true copy of his/her election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of the election results, with the district election officer.

It needs mention that the expenditure limit for the candidates during the Assembly election was Rs 28 lakh each.

“The party-wise average election expenses show that the average spending of 60 MLAs from BJP was Rs 15.11 lakh, of 26 MLAs from INC it was Rs 16.98 lakh, of 14 MLAs from AGP it was Rs 14.04 lakh, of 13 MLAs from AIUDF it was Rs 10.24 lakh and of 12 MLAs from BPF it was Rs 14.75 lakh,” informed Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, state coordinator, Assam Election Watch.

The maximum expense of about Rs 27.29 lakh has been declared by Nandita Das of INC, followed by Rekibuddin Ahmed of INC at Rs 26.47 lakh and Utpal Borah of BJP at Rs 25.88 lakh. The lowest election expenditure of Rs 3.81 lakh has been declared by Nijanur Rahman of AIUDF.

“Out of the 126 MLAs, 33 have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc., with star campaigners,” said Hussain.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has declared an election expenditure of Rs 25.26 lakh, while Himanta Biswa Sarma has declared an expenditure of Rs 22.09 lakh.

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