Many surpass their election expenditure, with one even exceeding double the limit of Rs. 28 lakh in Adilabad
Even seasoned political campaigners seem to be faltering when it comes to keeping a tab on their election expenditure as is evident from the entries made in the shadow observation register of the Election Commission for maintenance of day-today accounts of contesting candidates in various constituencies in Adilabad district. In Nirmal Assembly constituency alone, three candidates have crossed the upper limit of their election expenditure, with one of them even surpassing double the limit of Rs. 28 lakh.
According to entries made in the Nirmal constituency shadow observation register up to April 23, with five days remaining for campaigning, Mirza Yaseen Baig of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has spent nearly Rs. 59 lakh on his campaign. Bahujan Samaj Party’s A. Indrakaran Reddy has nearly Rs. 52 lakh entered against his name as election expenditure while Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s (TRS) K. Srihari Rao has spent about Rs. 37 lakh and sitting Congress MLA A. Maheshwar Reddy is close to crossing the ceiling at Rs. 27 lakh.
Another interesting fact related to expenditure in the current election campaigning is that the TRS candidates at Asifabad (ST), Khanapur (ST), Bellampally (SC), Mancherial and Chennur (SC) constituencies top their respective lists logging over Rs. 10 lakh each. Also, party’s candidate for the Adilabad (ST) Lok sabha seat, G. Nagesh is dangerously close to the Rs. 70 lakh limit for expenses as he has already spent about Rs. 54 lakh as per the shadow register.
“The bulk of expenditure is on account of newspaper advertisements, paid news and rallies deploying more number of two-wheelers. Accompanying a star campaigner in a helicopter also results in additional expenditure,” points out the Nodal Officer, Expenditure Monitoring Cell and Project Officer ITDA, Utnoor, Janardhan Nivas.
“We have informed all political parties well in advance about the procedure on accounting of their election expenditure. They were also told about the applicable rates for the purpose of accounting,” asserts District Election Officer and Collector Babu A. to drive home the point that the candidates are aware of the developments.
“The candidates can raise objections with the Expenditure Observer concerned as the matter could involve even disqualification under relevant sections of the Representation of People’s Act. However, his decision in the matter will be final,” Mr. Nivas added.