Rana Gurjit Singh, the richest candidate in 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab who is now a minister in the Congress government, spent minimum on his poll campaign among the members of Capatin Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet. According to details of expenditure submitted by him to the Election Commission and analysed by Punjab Election Watch, an organisation of Association of Democratic Rights (ADR), Rana Gurjit spent Rs 8.36 lakh, much less than the expenditure cap of Rs 28 lakh set by the Election Commission. Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary spent Rs 13 lakh while Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu spent Rs 14.50 lakh on his campaign. Among ministers, the highest amount, Rs 26.82 lakh, was spent by Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Following him closely was Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, who spent Rs 24.67 lakh, followed by PWD Minister Razia Sultana (Rs 24.48 lakh).

Among the MLAs, Congress MLA Gurpreet Singh GP from Bassi Pathana led the pack with an expenditure of Rs 26.89 lakh. Lok Insaaf Party chief Simarjit Singh Bains spent Rs 25.18 lakh. Among the MLAs, Congress MLA from Ajnala, Harpartap Ajnala, spent the least at Rs 4.13 lakh. Following him is the Khemkaran MLA Sukhpal Bhullar, who has shown an expenditure of Rs 6.57 lakh. Of the total funds received by MLAs, 22 per cent were raised from political parties, 39 per cent raised by MLAs themselves and 39 per cent from other sources. Out of the 117 MLAs analysed, 69 MLAs (59 percent) have declared they have not received any funds from political parties.

As many as 17 MLAs declared they had not received any funds from any person/company/firm/ associations/ body of persons as loan, gift or donation. Only five MLAs have declared that they have not used any of their own funds for their election campaign. Congress turned out to be the richest party with highest total income of Rs 3,982.09 crore between FY 2004-05 and 2014-15. BJP has the second highest income of Rs 3,272.63 crore and SAD has declared Rs 101.81 crore in income from across India for past 10 years while party’s FY-2004-05 audit report are not available yet. AAP was registered with ECI in 2013, but the party has declared Rs 110.06 cr income between FY- 2012-13 and 2014-15.

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