The Times Of India
Himanshi Dhawan
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar may be considered 'poor' states but candidates' election expenses for Lok Sabha polls 2009 do not reflect this. A recent study shows that half of the top 30 candidates — who spent the maximum on election expenses — came from Bihar and UP. Incidentally, 19% candidates who contested elections did not even file expenses including Trinamool MP and Union minister Mohan Jatua and his colleague Kabir Suman.

The analysis, done by National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), shows that constituents of Bihar and UP may be struggling to make ends meet but their representatives do not reflect this penury.

The top expense declaration in the 2009 election came from Jaforulla Molla from Murshidabad in West Bengal with total expenses of Rs 49 lakh followed by Prakash Jha with Rs 45.27 lakh from Paschim Champaran, Bihar, and Fatehpur Sikri's Raghuraj Singh Shakya with expenses to the tune of Rs 41 lakh. Agra MP Ramji Lal Suman with Rs 31 lakh and Yashbanta Narayan Singh Laguri from Keonjhar in Orissa with Rs 24 lakh followed.

Of the top 30, seven candidates came from Bihar including Prakash Jha, Raghunath Jha (Rs 24 lakh), Ram

Vilas Paswan (Rs 23 lakh), Monazir Hassan (Rs 23 lakh) and J P Narain Yadav (Rs 23 lakh). Eight candidates including Mohammed Rizwan (Rs 24 lakh), Shivakant Ojha (Rs 24 lakh), Rajkumari Ratna Singh (Rs 24 lakh) and Brijbhushan Saran Singh (Rs 23 lakh) belong to UP.

Average election expense of candidates of all parties was between 50-55% of the prescribed limit of Rs 25 lakh.

Out of the 6753 candidates, 1266 candidates have not filed their expenses. These include candidates from all major parties, 64 candidates out of 421 from BSP, 13 candidates out of 361 of BJP and 7 out of 374 of Congress.

When analysed party-wise, most candidates of the major parties reached nowhere close to the maximum expense limit prescribed. The average election expenses of the candidates party-wise show that average spending of BSP candidates was Rs 6.2 lakh, for Congress Rs 13.7 lakh, for BJP Rs 12.5 lakh and SP Rs 8.9 lakh.

Average highest spending by a candidate in a constituency was in Kokrajhar (Rs 16.17 lakh) from Assam followed by Bellary (Rs 14.76 lakh) from Karnataka and Tura (Rs 13.50 lakh) from Meghalaya. Lowest average spending was in Theni (Rs 29,371) in Tamil Nadu followed by Chennai North (Rs 86,727) Nadu and Ara (Rs 1 lakh) in Bihar.

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