According to Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every contesting candidate has to lodge a true copy of his election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of result of election, with the District Election Officer in all States and Union Territories.
Kerala Election Watch (KEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analyzed the election expenditure statements submitted after the Kerala 2016 Assembly elections for 137 out of 140 MLAs. The expenditure limit for the candidates during the Kerala Assembly elections was Rs.28 lakhs.
These election expense documents include details of expenses on public meeting and processions, campaigning through electronic and print media, expense on campaign workers, expense on vehicles used and expense on campaign materials.

Based on the election expense declarations of 137 MLAs fromKerala Assembly, the average amount of money spent by them in the elections is only about Rs. 19.64 lakhs, which is 70 per cent of the expense limit.

The party wise average election expenses shows that the average spending for 55 MLAs from CPI(M) is Rs. 19.02 lakhs (68% of the expense limit), for 22 MLAs from INC is Rs. 19.26 lakhs (69% of the expense limit), for 19 MLAs from CPI is Rs. 20.19 Lakhs (72% of the expense limit), for 18 MLAs from IUML is Rs. 20.27 Lakhs (72% of the expense limit), and for 6 MLAs from Kerala Congress (M) is Rs.20.09 Lakhs (72% of the expense limit).

The maximum expense of about Rs. 27.82 lakhs (99% of the expense limit) has been declared by G. Sudhakaran of CPI(M) from Ambalapuzha constituency followed by Ramesh Chennithala of INC from Haripad constituency with an expense of Rs. 27.77 lakhs (or 99% of the expense limit) and K Muraleedharan of INC from Vattiyoorkavu constituency with an expense of Rs. 27.73 lakhs (or 99% of the expense limit).

Vijaydas of CPI(M) from Kongad constituency has declared election expenditure of Rs. 7.85 lakhs followed by Anoop Jacob of Kerala Congress (Jacob) from Piravom Constituency with election expenses of Rs. 10.25 lakhs and Achuthanandan of CPI(M) from Malampuzha Constituency with election expenses of Rs. 11.13 lakhs. 34 (25%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers.

Out of the total funds received by MLAs, 42% funds were raised from political parties, 14% were raised by MLAs themselves and 44% funds were raised from other sources. On an average an MLA from CPI(M) raised 43% of his/her election expense funds from the political party.

Similarly, an MLA from INC raised 49% of his/her election expense funds, an CPI MLA raised 50%, an IUML MLA raised 46% and a Kerala Congress (M) MLA raised 8% of their election expense funds from the political party.

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