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Odisha Election Watch and ADR India analyze election expenses of MLAs in state assembly elections

The BJD had won 112 of the 147 seats in the elections that took place last year

Sabrangindia 05 Jun 2020

Odisha

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) set its government for a straight fifth term last year in the Odisha State Assembly Elections, with the party’s candidates garnering 112 of the state’s 146 seats. The BJP secured 12 Lok Sabha seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 9 out of the 21 seats.

According to the Election Commission of India, the BJD spent Rs. 227.79 crores in the Assembly elections, 18 times more than it did in the 2014 polls when it spent Rs. 12.62 crore. Out of this Rs. 193.74 crores was for general propaganda, Rs. 34.05 crores were spent on candidates, The New Indian Express had reported.

Now, Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) India have published a statement with details of spending of the MLAs during the Odisha Assembly Elections, 2019, the limit for which for each MLA was Rs. 28 lakhs.  The organizations examined the 147 expenditure statements, which put for the details of expenses on public meetings and processions, campaigning through electronic and print media, expense on campaign workers, expense on vehicles used and expense on campaign materials.

The organizations state that according to Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every contesting 'Winner' has to lodge a true copy of his election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of result of election, with the District Election Officer in all States and Union Territories. However, it was found that many of these statements were not uploaded till significantly after the deadline which was June 22, 2019 in this case.

Summary and Highlights of Election Expenses of MLAs

It was noted based on the declaration of the 147 MLAs that the average amount of money spent by them in the elections was Rs. 18.72 lakhs, which was 67 percent of the expense limit. Out of the 147 MLAs, 15 (10 percent) had declared that their election expenses were less than 50 percent of the expense limit which was Rs. 28 lakhs.

This figure has dropped drastically since the 2014 Odisha state assembly elections where out of 142 MLAs, 102 (72%) had declared that they had used less than 50 percent of their expenses.

Party-wise average election expenses

The party wise average election expenses shows that the average spending for 113 MLAs from BJD is Rs18.95 lakhs (67.7% of the expense limit). This has increased from Rs.12.09 lakhs in 2014.

For 23 MLAs from BJP, the average election expenditure is Rs. 18.42 lakhs (65.8% of the expense limit), which is up from Rs. 13.77 lakhs in 2014.

The average election expenditure for 9 MLAs from INC is Rs. 17.18 lakhs (61.4% of the expense limit), which is up from Rs. 10.04 lakhs in 2014.

One MLA from CPI (M) has spent Rs. 26.83 lakhs (95.9% of the expense limit) and 1 Independent MLA has spent Rs5.29 lakhs (18.9% of the expense limit).

Out of the top 10 MLAs who declared the highest spending, six were from the BJD, three belonged to BJP and one was an MLA from CPI (M). Since 2014, BJD has lost one spot and BJP has gained one.

The top 3 MLAs with the highest spending were –

1.       Laxman Munda (CPI-M) from Sundargarh with a spending of 96 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,83,891.

2.       Sri Bhaskhar Madhei (BJP) from Mayurbhanj with a spending of 95 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,63,548.

3.       Simarani Nayak (BJD) from Dhenkanai with a spending of 93 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,03,632.

In 2014, the top 3 MLAs with the highest spending all belonged to the BJD.

Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions with Star Campaigners: Out of the 147 MLAs analyzed, 100 (68%) MLAs have declared that they have spent amount on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners and 47 (32%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners.

Party-wise, this spending stood at an average of Rs. 4.94 lakhs (26.8%) for the BJP and Rs. 1.85 lakhs (9.8%) for the BJD. Since 2014, this figure has fallen 2% for the BJD and increased 22% for the BJP.

Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions without Star Campaigners: Out of the 147 MLAs analyzed, 144 (98%) MLAs have declared that they have spent amount on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners and 3 (2%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners.

Party-wise, this spending stood at an average of Rs. 13.67 lakhs (51%) for the CPI (M), Rs. 8.27 lakhs (43.7%) for BJD and Rs. 5.66 lakhs (30.8%) for the BJP. Since 2014, this spending has increased at least 13% for the BJD and by 4% for the BJP.

Expense on Campaigning through electronic/print media: 47(32%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an amount on campaigning through electronic/print media and 100 (68%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic/print media.

The highest amount for campaigning through electronic media was spent by INC – Rs. 47,598 (2.8%), followed by BJD – Rs. 17,449 (0.9%) and BJP – Rs. 8,999 (0.5%).

Expense on Campaign Workers: 141(96%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an amount on campaign workers and 6 (4%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers.

INC once again stood first in the spending on campaign workers with Rs. 4.72 lakhs (27.5%), followed by BJD which spent Rs. 2.91 lakhs (15.4%), BJP which spent Rs. 2.81 lakhs (15.3%) and CPI (M) which spent Rs. 1.53 lakhs (5.7%).

This shows an increase of 5% for the BJD, 3% for the INC and a sharp fall of at least 13% for the BJP since 2014.

Expense on Campaign Materials: 125(85%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an  amount on campaign materials and 22(15%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign materials.

The Indian National Congress (INC) is said to have spent the highest on campaign materials – Rs. 3.42 lakhs (19.9%), followed by BJD which spent Rs. 2.72 lakhs (14.4 percent) and CPI (M) which spent Rs. 2.24 lakhs (8.4 percent).

By these figures, the largest chunk of expenses was done on Public meetings/processions without star campaigners (41%), followed by spending on campaign workers (16%) and campaign material (14%).

   

Sources of Funds

ADR India and Odisha Election Watch stated that out of the total funds received by MLAs, 7 percent were raised from political parties, 10 percent were raised by MLAs themselves and 83 percent were raised from other sources (amount received from any person / company/ gift/ donation, etc.).

While in 2014, on an average an MLA from BJD raised 37% of his/her election expense funds from their own funds. Similarly, a MLA from INC and BJP raised 57% and 32% of his/her election expense funds from their own funds.

Out of the 147 MLAs, 75 (51%) declared that they received funds from political parties and 72 (49%) declared that they didn’t receive any funds from political parties. 144 (98%) MLAs said that they had received funds from a person/ company/ associations/ donation/ gift, etc. and 3 MLAs (2%) said they didn’t receive funds through such means. Out of the MLA's expenses analyzed, 60 of them (41%) said they used their own funds for the campaign.

Funds raised from political parties: On an average, an MLA from BJD raised 87.31%, an MLA from BJP raised 87.05%, an MLA from CPI (M) raised 85.53% and on an average an MLA from INC raised only 77.96% of his/her election fund from their respective party.

Comparing this with 2014, at the time, on an average, an MLA from BJD raised 10% of his/her election expense funds from the political party. Similarly, a MLA from INC raised 14% of his/her election expense funds from the political party, and BJP MLAs raised 55% of their election expense funds from the political party.

Funds raised through person/company/association/donation/gift: On an average an MLA from BJP raised 9%, an MLA from BJD raised 6%, an MLA from INC raised 5%, an MLA from CPI (M) raised 7% and 1 independent MLA raised 99% of his expense through these means.  

In comparison, in 2014, on an average a MLA from BJD raised 53% of his/her election expense funds from any person/company/firm/associations/body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation while it was 29% and 2% for INC and BJP MLAs respectively.

The complete expense report of the 147 MLAs who stood in the Odisha State Assembly Elections, 2019 may be read below.

 

 

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Odisha Election Watch and ADR India analyze election expenses of MLAs in state assembly elections

The BJD had won 112 of the 147 seats in the elections that took place last year

Odisha

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) set its government for a straight fifth term last year in the Odisha State Assembly Elections, with the party’s candidates garnering 112 of the state’s 146 seats. The BJP secured 12 Lok Sabha seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 9 out of the 21 seats.

According to the Election Commission of India, the BJD spent Rs. 227.79 crores in the Assembly elections, 18 times more than it did in the 2014 polls when it spent Rs. 12.62 crore. Out of this Rs. 193.74 crores was for general propaganda, Rs. 34.05 crores were spent on candidates, The New Indian Express had reported.

Now, Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) India have published a statement with details of spending of the MLAs during the Odisha Assembly Elections, 2019, the limit for which for each MLA was Rs. 28 lakhs.  The organizations examined the 147 expenditure statements, which put for the details of expenses on public meetings and processions, campaigning through electronic and print media, expense on campaign workers, expense on vehicles used and expense on campaign materials.

The organizations state that according to Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every contesting 'Winner' has to lodge a true copy of his election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of result of election, with the District Election Officer in all States and Union Territories. However, it was found that many of these statements were not uploaded till significantly after the deadline which was June 22, 2019 in this case.

Summary and Highlights of Election Expenses of MLAs

It was noted based on the declaration of the 147 MLAs that the average amount of money spent by them in the elections was Rs. 18.72 lakhs, which was 67 percent of the expense limit. Out of the 147 MLAs, 15 (10 percent) had declared that their election expenses were less than 50 percent of the expense limit which was Rs. 28 lakhs.

This figure has dropped drastically since the 2014 Odisha state assembly elections where out of 142 MLAs, 102 (72%) had declared that they had used less than 50 percent of their expenses.

Party-wise average election expenses

The party wise average election expenses shows that the average spending for 113 MLAs from BJD is Rs18.95 lakhs (67.7% of the expense limit). This has increased from Rs.12.09 lakhs in 2014.

For 23 MLAs from BJP, the average election expenditure is Rs. 18.42 lakhs (65.8% of the expense limit), which is up from Rs. 13.77 lakhs in 2014.

The average election expenditure for 9 MLAs from INC is Rs. 17.18 lakhs (61.4% of the expense limit), which is up from Rs. 10.04 lakhs in 2014.

One MLA from CPI (M) has spent Rs. 26.83 lakhs (95.9% of the expense limit) and 1 Independent MLA has spent Rs5.29 lakhs (18.9% of the expense limit).

Out of the top 10 MLAs who declared the highest spending, six were from the BJD, three belonged to BJP and one was an MLA from CPI (M). Since 2014, BJD has lost one spot and BJP has gained one.

The top 3 MLAs with the highest spending were –

1.       Laxman Munda (CPI-M) from Sundargarh with a spending of 96 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,83,891.

2.       Sri Bhaskhar Madhei (BJP) from Mayurbhanj with a spending of 95 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,63,548.

3.       Simarani Nayak (BJD) from Dhenkanai with a spending of 93 percent of the expense limit amounting to Rs. 26,03,632.

In 2014, the top 3 MLAs with the highest spending all belonged to the BJD.

Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions with Star Campaigners: Out of the 147 MLAs analyzed, 100 (68%) MLAs have declared that they have spent amount on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners and 47 (32%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners.

Party-wise, this spending stood at an average of Rs. 4.94 lakhs (26.8%) for the BJP and Rs. 1.85 lakhs (9.8%) for the BJD. Since 2014, this figure has fallen 2% for the BJD and increased 22% for the BJP.

Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions without Star Campaigners: Out of the 147 MLAs analyzed, 144 (98%) MLAs have declared that they have spent amount on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners and 3 (2%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners.

Party-wise, this spending stood at an average of Rs. 13.67 lakhs (51%) for the CPI (M), Rs. 8.27 lakhs (43.7%) for BJD and Rs. 5.66 lakhs (30.8%) for the BJP. Since 2014, this spending has increased at least 13% for the BJD and by 4% for the BJP.

Expense on Campaigning through electronic/print media: 47(32%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an amount on campaigning through electronic/print media and 100 (68%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic/print media.

The highest amount for campaigning through electronic media was spent by INC – Rs. 47,598 (2.8%), followed by BJD – Rs. 17,449 (0.9%) and BJP – Rs. 8,999 (0.5%).

Expense on Campaign Workers: 141(96%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an amount on campaign workers and 6 (4%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign workers.

INC once again stood first in the spending on campaign workers with Rs. 4.72 lakhs (27.5%), followed by BJD which spent Rs. 2.91 lakhs (15.4%), BJP which spent Rs. 2.81 lakhs (15.3%) and CPI (M) which spent Rs. 1.53 lakhs (5.7%).

This shows an increase of 5% for the BJD, 3% for the INC and a sharp fall of at least 13% for the BJP since 2014.

Expense on Campaign Materials: 125(85%) MLAs have declared that they have spent an  amount on campaign materials and 22(15%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any amount on campaign materials.

The Indian National Congress (INC) is said to have spent the highest on campaign materials – Rs. 3.42 lakhs (19.9%), followed by BJD which spent Rs. 2.72 lakhs (14.4 percent) and CPI (M) which spent Rs. 2.24 lakhs (8.4 percent).

By these figures, the largest chunk of expenses was done on Public meetings/processions without star campaigners (41%), followed by spending on campaign workers (16%) and campaign material (14%).

   

Sources of Funds

ADR India and Odisha Election Watch stated that out of the total funds received by MLAs, 7 percent were raised from political parties, 10 percent were raised by MLAs themselves and 83 percent were raised from other sources (amount received from any person / company/ gift/ donation, etc.).

While in 2014, on an average an MLA from BJD raised 37% of his/her election expense funds from their own funds. Similarly, a MLA from INC and BJP raised 57% and 32% of his/her election expense funds from their own funds.

Out of the 147 MLAs, 75 (51%) declared that they received funds from political parties and 72 (49%) declared that they didn’t receive any funds from political parties. 144 (98%) MLAs said that they had received funds from a person/ company/ associations/ donation/ gift, etc. and 3 MLAs (2%) said they didn’t receive funds through such means. Out of the MLA's expenses analyzed, 60 of them (41%) said they used their own funds for the campaign.

Funds raised from political parties: On an average, an MLA from BJD raised 87.31%, an MLA from BJP raised 87.05%, an MLA from CPI (M) raised 85.53% and on an average an MLA from INC raised only 77.96% of his/her election fund from their respective party.

Comparing this with 2014, at the time, on an average, an MLA from BJD raised 10% of his/her election expense funds from the political party. Similarly, a MLA from INC raised 14% of his/her election expense funds from the political party, and BJP MLAs raised 55% of their election expense funds from the political party.

Funds raised through person/company/association/donation/gift: On an average an MLA from BJP raised 9%, an MLA from BJD raised 6%, an MLA from INC raised 5%, an MLA from CPI (M) raised 7% and 1 independent MLA raised 99% of his expense through these means.  

In comparison, in 2014, on an average a MLA from BJD raised 53% of his/her election expense funds from any person/company/firm/associations/body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation while it was 29% and 2% for INC and BJP MLAs respectively.

The complete expense report of the 147 MLAs who stood in the Odisha State Assembly Elections, 2019 may be read below.

 

 

Related:

India needs a stimulus package to fight the COVID-19 Economic battle

Plea in SC highlights plight of people in informal sector, seeks compensation scheme

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