HYDERABAD: Politicians make tall claims during election campaign that their work would help them earn votes.
Then one needs to wonder why the politicians in Telangana had to spend as much as Rs 5,000 crore in the Assembly elections held last year, as per the report of Centre for Media Studies on poll expenditure.
The report points out that more than Rs 40 crore was spent by each candidate in three assembly constituencies - Nalgonda, Chevella and Malkajgiri.
All three segments witnessed fierce battles between the Congress and TRS candidates.
Compared to these numbers, the unaccounted money and liquor seized by the authorities during the poll campaign were Rs 68 crore (Rs 60 crore in cash, Rs 5 crore worth liquor and Rs 3 crore in drugs.)
However, the election spending was much less in the State during this year’s Lok Sabha elections, which was pegged at around Rs 450 crore. Citing the reasons for low spending in Lok Sabha polls, the CMS report said, it was because of generous schemes of the new TRS government like financial assistance to the farmers, women and senior citizens and importantly, two instalments of these schemes were distributed just around the same time as the State went to polls.
Also, it pointed out that defection by many opposition party MLAs into the TRS decreased the keenness of electoral contest in the state.
The report also pointed out that giving biryani packets along with cash (1 or 2 notes of Rs 500) to those attending public meeting and rallies, was common during campaigning.
In Andhra Pradesh the election expenditure was pegged at Rs 7,000 - 9,000 crore in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections conducted simultaneously this year.
The constituencies which saw high spending of money by candidates as per the CMS report were Kadapa, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam , Vijayawada and Guntur. The CMS report points out that if AP would have had Assembly and Lok Sabha polls separately, the poll expenditure would have almost doubled.
The CMS report has said that the 2019 general elections were the costliest elections ever with spending touching an astronomical figure of more than Rs 55,000 crore, of which 45 to 55 per cent was spent by the BJP and around 15-20 per cent by the Congress party.
Rs 40 crore spent in Nalgonda, Chevella, Malkajgiri
The CMS report points out that more than Rs 40 crore was spent by each candidate in Nalgonda, Chevella and Malkajgiri segments. All three segments witnessed fierce battles between Congres and TRS candidates.