Nominees, party poll expenses don't match

Nominees, party poll expenses don't match

Discrepancies have been found in statements given to the Election Commission (EC) by parties and MPs on money given and received by them for campaigning in the 2009 elections.

An analysis of two private election watchdogs has claimed that there were mismatches in the declarations given even by prominent leaders, including those from the Congress.

However, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is among 25 Congress MPs whose statement about the amount received from the political party matches the amount declared by the party. Gandhi received Rs 25 lakh for campaigning in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

According to the Association for Democratic Rights (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW), out of 277 MPs from national parties whose affidavits were analysed, 75 claimed they received a total of Rs 7.46 crore from their parties, while the parties told the EC through their declaration that they gave Rs 14.19 crore to 138 MPs.

While only 42 MPs declared that they received a total of Rs 3.97 crore from the Congress, the party said they distributed Rs 12.34 crore among 123 MPs.

The ADR and NEW claimed that the names of those who had not declared the amounts given by their parties for campaigning include that of Pranab Mukherjee, who represented Jangipur.

In its declaration, the Congress said it gave Rs 15 lakh for his campaigning, while his declaration said he did not receive any money from the party.

Others from the Congress whose names figure in the list include Kamal Nath, Beni Prasad Verma, Jitin Prasada, Sriprakash Jaiswal and K V Thomas.

Interestingly, there are eight MPs from the Congress who have quoted more money than what the party said it gave them. Union Minister Jitendra Singh declared that he got Rs 18 lakh from the party, while the Congress said it gave him only Rs 10 lakh.

Along with the Congress vice president, there are 24 other party MPs, including Shashi Tharoor, whose declaration matched with that of their party. The ADR and NEW said they analysed the expenditure statements of 388 MPs and out of this, 277 were from national parties. BJP reported to the commission that they did not financially support even one winning candidate but 25 MPs declared that they received a total of Rs 2.75 crore from their party.

Sushma Swaraj declared that she got Rs 6.85 lakh and Yashwant Sinha Rs 17 lakh from the party but BJP declaration did not have their names.

With discrepancies creeping in, the ADR and NEW have asked Election Commission to make cross checking data provided by all candidates and parties mandatory.

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