Shimla: In a recently concluded Himachal Elections 2017 winning candidates have spent on an average of Rs 15.26 lakhs each which is 45 percent less than the permissible limit.
As per the data (based on the election expense declarations of 68 MLAs from Himachal Pradesh Assembly) compiled by the Himachal Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), average amount spent by candidates was Rs 15.26 lakhs, which is 55% of the expense limit.
The expenditure limit for the candidates was Rs. 28 lakhs. These election expense documents include details of expenses on public meeting and processions, campaigning through electronic and print media, expense on campaign workers, expense on vehicles used and expense on campaign materials.
Anni legislature Kishori Lal has declared expenditure of Rs. 25,83,669/-, highest in the election, while Rajiv Saizal declared Rs. 24,58,389 and Hira Lal legislature from Karsog declared Rs. 22,95,220 expenditure in the election.
Mohan Lal Brakta declared Rs. 3,88,657 election expenditure, lowest in Himachal Elections 2017, while Anirudh Singh, Kasumpati legislature declared Rs. 6,48,950 and Narender Thakur (Hamirpur legislature) declared Rs. 7,10,735 as an election expenditure.
Vikramaditya Singh has declared election expenditure of Rs. 13,26,076, while his father and former Chief Minister has declared election expenditure of Rs. 18,68,761. Vikramaditya Singh has won election from Shimla Rural segment and Virbhadra Singh has been elected from Arki assembly segment of Solan district.
Chopal legislature Balbir Singh Verma has declared election expenditure of Rs. 19,06,771. Verma had declared the total assets of over Rs. 90 Crore.
CPM candidate Rakesh Singha declared election expenditure of Rs. 8,21,788.
Party-wise Average Election Expenses
The party wise average election expenses shows that the average spending for 44 MLAs from BJP is Rs 16.99 lakhs (60.7% of the expense limit). For 21 MLAs from INC, the average election expenditure is Rs 11.80 lakhs (42.2% of the expense limit) and for 2 independent MLAs, the average election expenditure is Rs 16.94 Lakhs (60.5% of the expense limit). 1 MLA from CPI (M) has spent Rs. 8.21 lakhs (29.3% of the expense limit).
Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions with Star Campaigners.
As per the ADR report 6 elected legislatures have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners. And 16 winning candidates have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic/print media.
Interestingly 17 MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers, while 8 MLAs have not spent any amount on campaign materials. Three winning candidate claimed of not spending any amount on campaign vehicles.
Funds Raised by MLAs in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly 2017 Elections
Out of the total funds received by MLAs, 57% funds were raised from political parties, 29% were raised by MLAs themselves and 14% funds were raised from other sources.
20 MLAs have declared that they have not received any funds from political parties. 31 MLAs have not received any funds from any person/ company/ firm/associations/ body of persons etc as loan, gift or donation.
Average funds raised from Political Parties (Party-wise)
On an average a MLA from BJP raised 12% and on an average a MLA from INC raised 87% of his/her election expense funds from the political party. On an average a MLA from BJP raised 9% of his/her election expense funds from any person/company/firm/associations/body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation. Similarly, a MLA from INC raised 28% of his/her election expense funds, and 2 independent MLAs raised on an average 48% of their expense funds from any person/ company/ firm/ associations/body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation.
Every Winning candidate is bound under Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to lodge a true copy of election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of result of election, with the District Election Officer.