Estimated Rs 320 crore needed for 2018 Karnataka Assembly polls

Estimated Rs 320 crore needed for 2018 Karnataka Assembly polls

An estimated Rs 320 crore is likely to be spent for the Karnataka Legislative Assembly polls slated for April-May 2018, according to the State Election Commission (SEC).  

The State Election Commissioner has written to Karnataka Finance Ministry to release the amount at the earliest.  

This amount is the double of what was spent for the 2013 state elections. Then, Rs 143.5 crore was spent for conducting the polls. In 2008, Rs 64.82 crore had been spent.  

This year, the SEC has decided to use electronic voting machines (EVM) with voter verified audit trail (VVAT) in all the booths.

The number of booths has also increased. Due to inflation and price rise, the cost of the conducting the elections has risen sharply SEC sources told DH.

During the last elections, 54,261 booths were installed. This time there will be 57,000 booths across Karnataka. The number of eligible voters has risen from 4.46 crore in the last poll to 4.9 crore in the upcoming poll.  

The bulk of the expenditure goes towards maintaining the staff on poll duty and booth level officers. The poll staff are paid between Rs 250 to Rs 350, sources said.  

Lok Sabha (Parliamentary) elections cost more than Vidhana Sabha elections. The 2014 Parliamentary elections costed Rs 161.08 crore and the 2009 Parliamentary elections Rs 95.45 crore.  

The Centre foots the bill for Lok Sabha polls and the state government bears the cost of Assembly polls.  

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