Mid Day
Amit Singh
New Delhi

EC records show most Delhi leaders spent meagerly during Lok Sabha elections. Experts say the declarations are doubtful

You may find it hard to digest but this is what the records say.

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, who contested the Lok Sabha election from the Northwest Delhi constituency this year, spent less than Rs 7 lakh during her two-month poll campaign. 

In the city, the cost of a not-so-lavish lunch or dinner hosted for about 400 guests can amount to Rs 5 lakh. 

But Tirath is not alone in the city for declaring what seems to be a shrunken poll budget. 

Among the seven winning Congress candidates from Delhi, Union Minister of State for Home affairs Ajay Maken spent the maximum amount. The total expense incurred as per the details filed by Maken is about Rs 21 lakh, Rs 4 lakh less than the limits set by the Election Commission.

Losers' loss

Among losers, BL Sharma Prem, the BJP candidate from Northeast Delhi, spent around Rs 4 lakh while the party's Vijay Goel declared he had spent Rs 19 lakh. Goel was a candidate from New Delhi constituency.

The summary statement of election expenses was collected from the Election Commission and an analysis was done by an NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), and National Election Watch (NEW).

'Is it true?'

Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of ADR, said, "During the election everyone saw candidates spending money without any limit. We heard advertisements of some of the candidates on every radio channel and that too very frequently. However, the official declaration shows they have not even reached the prescribed limit. It seems their declarations are incorrect. The Election Commission must scrutinise everything and action must be taken against these leaders." Commenting on the results of the analysis, former Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, said, "Going by the average election expenses of candidates during Lok Sabha polls, it seems our politicians are very poor. These expenses should be computed not by the government but by competent external authorities. We should change over to a better system; otherwise it is meaningless to have an account of such expenses."

50 to 55% of the prescribed limit of Rs 25 lakh is the average election expense of candidates of all parties

Pending accounts

According to the analysis, out of the 6,753 candidates who contested the Lok Sabha polls, 1,266 have not yet submitted their expenses. Candidates of all major parties are included in the defaulters' list.

What some of them spent
Krishna Tirath (Cong) spent Rs 6,80,764
Vijender Gupta (BJP) spent Rs 1,779,044
Sandeep Dikshit (Cong) spent Rs 1,497,620
BL Sharma Prem (BJP) spent Rs 4,27,283

Delhi sums it up

Candidate Constituency Total expense incurred (in Rs)
Kapil Sibal (Cong)
Vijender Gupta (BJP)
Chandni Chowk 12,17,347
Sandeep Dikshit (Cong)
Chetan Chauhan (BJP)
East Delhi 1,497,620
Ajay Maken (Cong)
Vijay Goel (BJP)
New Delhi 2,088,588
Jai Prakash Agarwal (Cong)
BL Sharma Prem (BJP)
Northeast Delhi NA
Krishna Tirath (Cong)
Meera Kanwariya (BJP)
Northwest Delhi 6,80,764
Ramesh Kumar (Cong)
Ramesh Bidhuri (BJP)
South Delhi 1,863,464
Mahabal Mishra (Cong)
Jagdish Mukhi (BJP)
West Delhi 1,806,588
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