Average election campaign expenses incurred by the MLAs during the 2013 Assembly polls amounts to less than half of the expenditure limit set by the Election Commission.

Based on the expense declarations of 213 newly elected legislators (out of 224), the Association for Democratic Reforms has recorded that the elected representatives have spent on average, a bare minimum of Rs 7.43 lakh, for campaigning.

Out of the 213 legislators, only one MLA — Mallikarjun Sidramappa Khuba of the JD(S) from Basavakalyan — appears to have crossed the Election’s Commission’s cap of Rs 16 lakh. According to the Commission, Khuba spent Rs 30,000 over the limit. On the other side of the spectrum, the lowest expenditure was made by S N Subbareddy, an Independent candidate from Bagepalli who spent only Rs 1.13 lakh.
Only one MLA is recorded as having spent more than his declared assets during the campaign. This is the Congress candidate from Jagalur constituency, HP Rajesh, who spent Rs 11.98 lakh. His declared assets amounted to Rs 7.50 lakh. 

But perhaps the most popular candidate of the elections and perhaps the most transparent, is S Madhu Bangarappa, the JD(S) legislator from Sorab who has not spent a single rupee on campaign material, banners or pamphlets.

Prof Trilochan Sastry, the founding member of the Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR) and professor of IIM said that, “All political parties had raised a hue and cry over the cap on expenditure for election campaign. 

They had stated that the expenditure cap was too low. Now, if we look at the affidavits submitted by the MLAs, we discover that, on an average, all MLAs have shown that their expenditure as having been less than of half the amount set by the Election Commission. They should be happy about this development.”

According to the ADR, the highest expenditure recorded vis-a-vis the expense limit of Rs 16 lakh, party-wise, was by the legislators of Congress (47 per cent) and JD(S) (with 47 per cent). 

They were followed by BJP (45 per cent) and the KJP
(45 per cent). 

The four elected representatives from BSR Congress recorded an expenditure of 38 per cent of the expense limit.

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