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MLAs’ average poll expenses touch nearly Rs 20 lakh: study

MLAs’ average poll expenses touch nearly Rs 20 lakh: study

Kochi: Average expense of Kerala MLAs during the recent state elections touched Rs 19.64 lakh, which is less than three-fourth of the prescribed limit for an individual, says a study.

The maximum individual expenses limit of Rs 28 lakh was stipulated for the southern state's Assembly polls, held in May.

"Based on the election expense declarations of 137 MLAs from Kerala Assembly, the average amount of money spent by them in the elections is only about Rs 19.64 lakh, which is 70 per cent of the expense limit," Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said on Friday.

Kerala Assembly has a total of 140 MLAs. As per the findings of ADR, 14 MLAs or 10 per cent of the total Assembly strength have declared poll expenses of less than 50 per cent of the expense limit in their constituency.

In terms of parties, average spending of 55 MLAs from CPI(M) stood at Rs 19.02 lakh while that of 22 elected members from Congress touched Rs 19.26 lakh.

The average expenditure of 19 CPI MLAs was Rs 20.19 lakh, 18 IUML members (Rs 20.27 lakh) and 6 MLAs from Kerala Congress (M) stood at Rs 20.09 lakh, as per the analysis.

The maximum expense of about Rs 27.82 lakh was declared by G Sudhakaran of CPI(M) while another representative from the party Vijaydas saw the lowest expenditure of just Rs 7.85 lakh.

Out of the 137 MLAs analysed, 48 have declared that they have not spent any amount on public meetings and processions with star campaigners, the study said.

According to 26 MLAs, they did not spend any amount on campaigning through electronic/print media whereas 34 have declared that they did not shell out money on campaign workers.

Out of the total funds received by MLAs, 42 per cent funds were raised from political parties and 14 per cent were raised on their own. The remaining 44 per cent of the funds were garnered from "other sources", the study said.

Around 48 MLAs have declared that they have not used any of their own funds for their election campaign, it added.

On the basis of an analysis of expenses incurred by 17 ministers in the Kerala government, the average amount of money spent by them during the polls was only Rs 19.61 lakh.

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