The Assam Tribune
Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, June 26 – Money power may have been on blatant display during the recent elections, but believe it or not, the new MLAs have shown expenditures well within limits. They have declared expenditures ranging from 39 per cent to 59 per cent in their declarations to the Election Commission of India.

The MLAs have declared expenditures to the tune of only Rs 3.12 lakh to Rs 9.39 lakh in their mandatory declaration.

Analysis of the election expenses – MLAs by National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has shown that although every political party has been forcefully asking Election Commission to increase the expense limit, only 32 MLAs out of 746 analysed have declared that the money spent by them was over 80 per cent of the limit. Expense limit was Rs 16 lakh for Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala.

At least 403 MLAs have in fact declared expenses less than 50 per cent of the limit set by EC. No MLA has declared they spent more than the limit.

MLAs have declared their average money spent in the elections to be very low in Assam, Rs 9.01 lakh.

Abul Kalam Azad (Bhabanipur) of AIUDF by spending Rs 1.73 lakh, which is about 11 per cent of the expenditure limit spent the lowest amount to get elected. He is followed by Moinuddin Ahmed of Jaleswar, also of AIUDF. He incurred an expenditure of Rs 2.12 lakh (13 per cent) and Rakeshwar Brahma (Mazbat) of BPF incurred an expenditure of 18 per cent which was Rs 2.84 lakh.

In comparison, Abu Taher Bepari, Monica Bora of Gohpur and wife of Ripun Bora, former Minister and Dr Nazrul Islam, all three belonging to the Congress incurred the highest expenditures of 100 per cent, 99 per cent and 95 per cent respectively of the expenditure limit.

The top three declarations across the five assemblies are from Abu Taher Bepari from Golakganj (Rs 15.99 lakh), Monica Bora (Gohpur) (Rs 15.91 lakh) and K.T. Pachaimal of AIADMK from Kanniyakumari, TN(Rs 15.73 lakh).

Party-wise, the ruling Congress in Assam seems to have spent most generously during the elections with its 78 MLAs on an average spending Rs 10.12 lakh (63.30 per cent), followed by AIUDF. Its 18 MLAs incurred an average expenditure of Rs 6.36 lakh,which accounted for 39.80 per cent of the expenditure limit. The BPF’s 12 MLAs incurred an average expenditure of Rs 8.26 lakh.

AGP’s 10 MLAs spent Rs 7.45 lakh on an average which is about 46.60 per cent of the expenditure limit, while five MLAs of BJP incurred an average expenditure of Rs 8.14 lakh, (50.90 per cent).

Interestingly 93 of the 126 MLAs in Assam have declared that they didn’t spend any money on Campaign through electronic and print media.

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