The average poll expenditure of the 117 MLAs in Punjab in the recent state Assembly polls is Rs 15.34 lakh, i.e. 55 per cent of the expense limit, poll watch bodies ADR and NEW said here today.

"77 MLAs of Congress had an average poll expense of Rs 15.25 lakh, which is 54.5 per cent of the expense limit.

While 20 MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had the average election expense of Rs 14.86 lakh, i.e. 53 per cent of the expense limit," the findings by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) said.

"For 15 MLAs of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the same was Rs 15.76 lakh, which is 56 per cent of expense limit. In case of three BJP MLAs, it was Rs 15.49 lakh, which is 55 per cent of expense limit and two MLAs of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), the average expenditure was Rs 20.01 lakh or 71.5 per cent of the expense limit," they said.

The expense limit by contestants for the state polls was fixed at Rs 28 lakh.

The highest election expense was incurred by Congress MLA Gurpreet Singh, who spent Rs 28 lakh, which is 96 per cent of expense limit followed by Charanjit Singh Channi, also from the same party who incurred Rs 26 lakh expenditure on fighting the polls, the poll watch bodies said.

LIP's Simarjeet Singh Bains spent Rs 25 lakh, 90 per cent of the expense limit, they said.

MLAs with the lowest expenses include Harpartap Singh (Cong) who spent Rs 4 lakh followed by Sukhpal Singh Bhullar (Cong) with Rs 6 lakh.

Among the present Cabinet ministers, Charanjit Singh Channi had spent Rs 26 lakh and Manpreet Singh Badal incurred Rs 24 lakh on election spending, the findings stated.

"On an average, an MLA from Cong raised 33 per cent of his election expense from person/company/firm and association.

AAP MLAs raised 45 per cent of their election expenditure, while SAD MLAs raised 71 per cent of their election expense from funds on an average. BJP MLAs raised 60 per cent of their election expense," they said.

Based on the election expense declaration of 10 ministers, the average amount spent by them in the polls was Rs 17.63 lakh, which is 63 per cent of the expense limit, they said.

"Minister Rana Gurjit Singh spent the lowest of Rs 8 lakh while Aruna Choudhary incurred Rs 12 lakh for the poll expenditure," the poll watch bodies added.

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