Source: 
India Today
http://news.in.msn.com/exclusives/it/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5774181
Author: 
Asit Jolly
Date: 
21.01.2012

National Election Watch (NEW) vehemently opposes the Election Commission's (EC) decision to raise the Assembly poll expenditure limit. 

National Election Watch (NEW) vehemently opposes the Election Commission's (EC) decision to raise the Assembly poll expenditure limit from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 16 lakh for candidates.

"It makes no sense," says new founder member Jagdeep Chhokar. Data compiled by his group shows that the average expenditure per candidate in the 2007 Punjab Assembly polls was barely Rs.5 lakh, half the maximum limit available at the time.

Officially, Congress nominees on an average spent Rs.5.07 lakh, Akali Dal candidates Rs.5.27 lakh and BJP contestants Rs.4.97 lakh, although you have to be an exceptional fool to believe that these figures are accurate. The big spender was the Akali Dal's Ranjit Talwandi, who spent Rs.9.83 lakh in his constituency, Raikot, while the BJP's Ram Kumar turned up as thriftiest, with an election expenditure of Rs.98,969 in the Abohar seat.

Chhokar says candidates spend a lot more than they declare. "The Election Commission leaves us no choice. Mark my words. Now that the EC has raised the limit to Rs.16 lakh, everyone will show their expenditure as Rs.10 lakh," says a Congress politician.

 

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