With campaigning in full throttle in poll-bound Rajasthan, the Election Commission (EC) is keeping an eye on the expenditure incurred by candidates in all the 200 constituencies. According to the rule, a candidate can spend up to Rs 28 Lakh on advertisements, banners, vehicles, and campaign-related other expenditure. The expenditure limit decided for this assembly election comes with an increase of Rs 12 Lakh as in 2013 it was Rs. 16 Lakh.
According to Anand Kumar, the Chief electoral officer (CEO), Rajasthan, all the candidates are given an upper limit of Rs 28 Lakh to spend on campaigning and they can use the money according to their own plan. However, EC officials are monitoring the expenditure to ensure that there is no overspending by any candidate in any constituency for the upcoming elections.
Rules, candidates have to follow
The rule says that every contesting candidate must give a true copy of his election expenses within a month from the date of declaration of result of the election, with the district election officer following which the state election commission office complies a detailed list of the expenditure incurred by the candidates as well as the political parties.
According to the report prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), after the 2013 election in Rajasthan, based on the election expenses declaration of 198 out of 200 newly elected MLAs of Rajasthan to the ECI, 127 MLAs had declared election expenses of less than 50% of the expenses limit of Rs 16 Lakh. Also, the report stated that the average amount of money spent by them in the elections was only about Rs 7.33 Lakh, which is 46% of the expenses limit. Incidentally, the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha election in 2019, will also be allowed to spend more funds as the limit has been doubled to Rs 80 Lakh from Rs 40 Lakh.