The Times of India
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Despite the constant demand for increasing the poll expense limit, one-third of the current parliamentarians have declared that they spent less than 50% of the poll funds at their disposal. Displaying uncharacteristic frugality, legislators have declared an average spending of Rs 40.33 lakh in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. 

The analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms ( ADR) is based on poll expenses declared by MPs to the Election Commission. 

The maximum expense of about Rs 82.40 lakh has been declared by Congress's Gourav Gogoi from Kaliabor constituency in Assam. That's 118% of the expense limit of Rs 70 lakh. He is followed by Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava of BJP from Gujarat's Bharuch constituency. Vasava, who is the MoS in the tribal affairs ministry, spent Rs 67.31 lakh. Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy from Dum Dum constituency in West Bengal is next with an expense of Rs 65.53 lakh. 

The expenditure limits for each Lok Sabha constituency were raised this year from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 70 lakh for bigger states and from Rs 22 lakh to Rs. 54 lakh for smaller states. 

The elected representative with the lowest election expense is Shyama Charan Gupta of BJP from Allahabad constituency who declared an expenditure of just Rs 39,369, He is followed by civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju of the TDP with election expenses of Rs 4.10 lakh. 

Incidentally, Shiromani Akali Dal leads political parties in the highest expenditure with its MPs spending an average of Rs 50.32 lakh. The BJP spent an average of Rs 41.81 lakh on average per candidate, just marginally higher than the Congress which spent on average Rs 41.63 lakh on its contestants. 

About 16 MPs have spent more than their total assets declared during the elections. Shrikant Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena from Kalyan Constituency, Maharashtra declared total assets of Rs 9.98 lakh during the elections. However he has declared election expenses of Rs. 51.34 lakh. 

Similarly, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa of BJP from Jorhat Constituency, Assam declared total assets of Rs 16.94 lakh during the elections, however he has declared election expenses of Rs 58.21 lakh. 

Interestingly, politicians have often found the EC's ceiling on poll spending as 'very conservative'. Also the figures come as a surprise as it was perceived that the parties had splurged during campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. 

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