BJP MLAS figure among the top three in the list of those who incurred highest election expenses during the recent Assembly elections in Punjab, according to data analysed by Himachal Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that assessed all the affidavits of all the contesting candidates.
While the election expense limit was fixed at Rs 28 lakh, three BJP MLAs figure among the highest declared election expenses in the 2017 elections, the data said. They are Kishori Lal from Anni constituency (Rs 25.8 lakh), followed by Rajiv Saijal Kasauli constituency (Rs 24.5 lakh) and Hira Lal Karsog (Rs 22.9 lakh).
The MLAs with lowest election expenses are Mohan Lal Brakta (Congress) Rohru constituency (Rs 3.8 lakh), Anirudh Singh (Congress) Kasumpti constituency (Rs 6.4 lakh) and Narinder Thakur (BJP) Hamirpur constituency (Rs 7.1 lakh).
Of the 68 MLAs analysed, 25 (37 per cent) MLAs have declared election expenses of less than 50 per cent of the expense limit in their constituency. The average spent by the MLAs is Rs 15.26 lakh, which is 55 per cent of the expense limit.
The party-wise average election expenses show that the average spending for 44 MLAs from BJP is Rs 16.99 lakh (60.7 per cent of the expense limit), for the 21 MLAs from Congress the average election expenditure is Rs 11.80 lakh (42.2 per cent of the expense limit), for two independent MLAs the average election expenditure is Rs 16.94 lakh (60.5 per cent of the expense limit), while the CPI(M) MLA has spent Rs 8.21 lakh (29.3 per cent of the expense limit).