CHENNAI: Former Union telecom minister and DMK candidate for the Chennai Central Parliamentary constituency Dayanidhi Maran spent just Rs 5.54 lakh on his Lok Sabha election campaign, if you were to go by the accounts he submitted to the Returning Officer on June 6. Even his Aam Admi Party rival candidate J Prabhakar spent more than him - Rs 6.66 lakh.
Maran’s other rivals, Congress’ C D Meyyappan submitted accounts for Rs 10.45 lakh, while J C Ravindran of DMDK claimed to have spent Rs 4.42 lakh. All expense statements have been uploaded on the Election Commission website. The idea is to let people raise objections, if any, within 45 days.
Maran’s statement also records the receipt of Rs 50 lakh from the DMK for election expenditure and use of Rs 1 lakh from his own fund.
Election department officials said Expenditure Observers, who were deputed to all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State, would scrutinise the statements within a week.
Just four days ahead of polling, on April 20, AAP’s Prabhakar had lodged a complaint before the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer, seeking Maran’s disqualification for exceeding the expenditure limit of Rs 70 lakh fixed by the EC.
“Maran had filed election expenditure statement for the period April 4 to April 9 as Rs 44,630 only. For the same period, shadow register of EC shows his expenditure as Rs 61,64,200. Similarly, the declared expenditure for the period April 10 to April 15 by Maran is Rs 3,83,911. For the same period, the shadow register, as computed by the EC observers shows an expenditure of Rs 20,14,791,” he had pointed out.
Stating that the Returning Officer had given a copy of the ‘computer expenditure’ to the total of `81,78,991 to the representative of Maran, Prabhakar had charged that Maran exceeded the expense cap and sought his disqualification.
Maran, however, denied the allegations in his explanation submitted to the Returning Officer.