55% WB MLAs show election spending of less than half the limit

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Kolkata, Jul 22: Amid a clamour among politicians for increasing the permissible election expenditure limit, a study today put the total poll expenses at less than half of the threshold amount in case of 55 per cent MLAs in West Bengal.

Based on the election expense declarations of all 294 MLAs analysed from the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, 162 MLAs (55 per cent) have declared spending of less than 50 per cent of the expense limit in their constituency, a study by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

55% WB MLAs show election spending of less than half the limit.
The average amount of the money spent by them in elections is about Rs 13.39 lakh, which is 48 per cent of the expense limit, it said. The party-wise average election expense shows that the average spending for 211 MLAs from AITC is Rs 13.57 lakh, for 44 MLAs from INC (Rs 17.57 lakh), 26 MLAs from CPI(M) (Rs 7.19 lakh) and for three BJP MLAs (Rs 17.10 lakh).

Of the 294 MLAs analysed, 77 declared they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions with star campaigners while two declared they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions other than the ones with star campaigners.

Moreover, 208 MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic or print media while 87 have not spent any amount on campaign workers, the study said.

Thirteen MLAs declared they have not spent any amount on vehicles used and 57 have not spent any amount on campaign materials. Out of the total funds received by MLAs, 51 per cent were raised from political parties, while 15 per cent was raised by MLAs themselves and 34 per cent from other sources, ADR said.

Of 294 MLAs, 12 have declared they have not received any funds from political parties, while 60 have not received any funds from any person, company as loan, gift or donation.

Besides, 46 MLAs have declared they have not used any of their own funds for their election campaign, ADR said.

Moreover, based on election expense declarations of all 42 ministers analysed from West Bengal Assembly, 22 have declared election expenses of less than 50 per cent of the expense limit in their constituency.

The average amount of money spent by them in elections is only about Rs 14.39 lakh, which is 51 per cent of the expense limit, it added.

PTI 

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