NEW DELHI: A day after a report revealed that almost 90 per cent of the funds from electoral trusts went to the BJP, another report has highlighted that two Gujarat MLAs have spent over the Election Commission’s (EC) prescribed limit during campaigning for the Assembly polls in December.
The report from the Association of Democratic Reforms revealed that Rajendrasinh Ranjitsinh Chavda from Himatnagar overshot the limit by Rs 5.87 lakh, and Kuberbhai Mansukhbhai Dindor from Santrampur spent Rs 95,000 more than the limit.
The EC has set a limit of Rs 28 lakh per candidate for election expenditure. A winning candidate is mandated by the poll panel to declare his/her expenditure within 30 days of the result.
Almost 30 per cent of the MLAs declared that they spent less than half of the prescribed limit during canvassing. Seven MLAs said they did not spend money on public meetings, and 62 declared that they did not spend on campaigning in print or electronic media.
The least amount, 5 per cent, was spent in campaigns in electronic/print media.The three least spending MLAs in Gujarat were Ratansinh Magansinh Rathod (Independent from Lunawada), Bharatji Sonaji Thakor (Congress MLA from Becharji) and Independent MLA from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani. They spent 11, 14 and 19 per cent of their expenditure limits respectively.
The average spending of the 99 BJP MLAs was Rs 17.34 lakh, and that of 77 Congress MLAs was Rs 15.99 lakh. The two Bharatiya Tribal Party MLAs spent Rs 12 lakh on campaigning, and the lone NCP MLA spent Rs 5.74 lakh.
In Himachal Pradesh, 25 of the 68 MLAs declared that they spent less than half of the prescribed limit. The average expenditure by them was Rs 15.26 lakh, amounting to 55 per cent of the limit.
In terms of party wise expenditure in elections in the hill state, the average expenditure of 44 BJP MLAs was Rs 16.99 lakh, and Rs 11.8 lakh for the 21 Cong MLAs. The lone CPI(M) MLA spent 29 per cent of the limit (Rs 8.21 lakh).
The three highest-spending MLAs in Himachal were from the BJP — Anni MLA Kishori Lal, Kasauli MLA Rajiv Saizal and Karsog MLA Hira Lal spent 92 per cent, 88 per cent and 82 per cent of their prescribed funds respectively.