NEW DELHI (TIP): Election expenses of several candidates did not match their party’s expenditure declaration according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Among those whose election expenses were either more or less than the expense declaration made by the party included PM Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader L K Advani, Cabinet minister Kalraj Mishra, LJP’s Ramvilas Paswan, NCP’s Supriya Sule, Congress MPs Deepender Singh Hooda and K V Thomas among others.
Also, around 70 parliamentarians including speaker Sumita Mahajan, ministers Uma Bharati, Maneka Gandhi and Jayant Sinha claimed to have received party funds though the party has not declared any expenses towards their campaign.
Out of 342 MPs from national parties, 263 claimed they received poll funds to the tune of Rs 75.58 crore from their parties while the parties declared that they had given a much lower amount of Rs 54.73 crore to only 175 MPs. The analysis is based on election expenditure statements submitted to the Election Commission by the parties and individual candidates. The discrepancy in data, according to ADR, points to lack of scrutiny of election expenses by the EC.
The discrepancy is most pronounced in BJP where the party declared that it had provided aid to 159 parliamentarians allocating a total of Rs 47.03 crore. Of these, 18 MPs claimed to have received less than the party declared as expenses towards their campaign. They included PM Narendra Modi whose affidavit claimed the party gave him Rs 32.53 lakh while the party expenditure statement declared Rs 40 lakh as the fund amount. Similarly, Advani declared Rs 33.88 lakh as opposed to the party declaration of Rs 41 lakh.
About 35 BJP MPs declared that they received more than the party expense statement. They include minister Kalraj Mishra who claimed party aid of Rs 55 lakh though the BJP statement listed only Rs 15 lakh. Maharashtra MP Poonam Mahajan declared expenses of Rs 42.07 lakh while the party claimed it had spent Rs 32.60 lakh.
In another case of mismatch, 70 MPs declared receiving funds while the party did not allocate any funds for them. They included Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who declared Rs 11 lakh and ministers Uma Bharati (Rs 40 lakh), Maneka Gandhi (Rs 20 lakh) and Jayant Sinha (Rs 45 lakh). Poll expense declaration by 105 MPs matched the amount the party declared.
In the Congress, 11 MPs claimed to have received aid though only seven were listed in the party’s expense statement. Among those who claimed to have received funds are Mullapally Ramachandran (declared Rs 31.50 lakh), K V Thomas (Rs 20 lakh), Anto Antony (Rs 15.67 lakh) among others. Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan declared he had received Rs 65 lakh while the party said it gave him Rs 40 lakh. A senior EC official id that the commission has taken note of the ADR findings on discrepancies between MPs’ declaration of lumpsum amount received from parties and that declared by their respective parties. “We will examine the ADR report and take an independent view on any such discrepancies, before deciding our next course of action,” the official said.