Press Release: Analysis of Election Expenditure statements of MLAs from the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021

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Aug 26, 2021, 1:30:39 AM8/26/21
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Press Release 
                                                                                                                Date: August 26, 2021
 
Dear Friends, 

According to Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every contesting candidate has to lodge a true copy of his election expenses within 30 days from the date of declaration of result of election, with the District Election Officer in all States and Union Territories. West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed 291 out of 292 election expenditure statements submitted after the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 for newly elected MLAs. The election expenditure statement of 1 MLA namely Kajal Sinha (AITC) from Khardaha constituency was not analysed as his expenditure statements were not available on the website at the time of making this report due to the death. The expenditure limit for the MLAs during the West Bengal Assembly elections was Rs. 30.80 lakhs. These election expense documents include details of expenses on public meetings and processions, campaigning through electronic and print media, expense on campaign workers, expense on vehicles used and expense on campaign materials.


Recommendations:

1.   Each Winner is required to file his election expenditure statement within 30 days of the results of the elections, the deadline in case of the West Bengal Assembly Elections being the 1st June 2021. However, it was observed that the election expenditure statements of the Winners were not uploaded on the CEO/DEO’s website till significantly after the deadline. It is recommended that the Abstract Expenditure Statement (Annexure E2) of the MLAs is uploaded on the website of the CEO within 72 hours of the receipt of the statement.

2.    The deadline for filing an election petition against any Winner is 45 days after the declaration of the results. Generally, MLAs submit their election expenditure statements towards the end of the 30 days given for submission of the statements. This leaves 15 days for any common citizen to file an election petition against any Winner. The deadline for filing an election petition should be increased in order to give the citizens time to scrutinize the election expenditure statements of the MLAs and gather the relevant documents/proof etc. for the election petition.

3.  As has been instated in the filing of affidavits during the elections, the MLAs should not be allowed to keep any field blank on the Abstract Election Expenditure statement (Annexure E2) and Schedule 1 to 10. The statements must be filled in a legible format and overwriting of amounts in the statement should be discouraged.

Summary and Highlights of Election Expenses of MLAs from the West Bengal Assembly 2021 Elections


1.   Less than 50% of the Limit:  Out of 291 MLAs analysed, 51 (18%)  MLAs have declared election expenses less than 50% of the expense limit in their constituency.

2.  Average Election Expenses: Based on the election expense declarations of 291 MLAs from West Bengal Assembly, the average amount of money spent by them in the elections is Rs 20.58 lakhs, which is 67% of the expense limit.

3.  Party-wise Average Election Expenses: The party wise average election expenses shows that the average spending for 212 MLAs from AITC is Rs 21.45 lakhs (69.7% of the expense limit) and the average election expenditure for 77 MLAs from BJP is Rs.18.44 lakhs (59.9% of the expense limit).

image.png

Figure: Party-wise Average Election Expenses (Rs.in lakhs)


4.    Top 3 MLAs with highest Election Expenses: The details of top 3 MLAs who have declared highest election expenses are given below:

S.No.

Name

District

Constituency

Party

Expense Limit (Rs.)

Total expenses 
incurred (Rs.)

% of limit reached

1

Ganesh Chandra Mondal

South 24 Parganas

Kultali (SC)

AITC

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

30,01,241
 30 Lacs+

97%

 

2

Becharam Manna

Hooghly

Singur

AITC

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

29,55,966
 29 Lacs+

96%

 

3

Atta Surja Kanta

Paschim Medinipur

Narayangarh

AITC

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

29,48,870
 29 Lacs+

96%

 

 Table: Top 3 MLAs with highest election expenditure


5.    MLAs with lowest Election Expenses:   The details of 3 MLAs who have declared lowest election expenses are given below:


S.No.

Name

District

Constituency

Party

Expense Limit (Rs.)

Total expenses 
incurred (Rs.)

% of limit reached

1

Kaushik Roy

Jalpaiguri

Maynaguri (SC)

BJP

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

**80,254
 80 Thou+

3%

 

2

Durga Murmu

Darjeeling

Phansidewa (ST)

BJP

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

6,01,022
 6 Lacs+

20%

 

3

Ruden Sada Lepcha

Kalimpong

Kalimpong

IND

30,80,000
 30 Lacs+

8,06,349
 8 Lacs+

26%

 

Table: 3 MLAs with lowest election expenditure

**on total expenses value indicates that the MLA has not provided the total in their affidavits, it has been calculated on the basis of details provided by them in the same


6.   Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions with Star Campaigners: Out of the 291 MLAs analyzed, 229 (79%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners and 62 (21%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any funds on public meetings, processions etc. with star campaigners.


7.   Expense on Public Meeting, Rally, and Processions without Star Campaigners: Out of the 291 MLAs analyzed, 290 (100%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on public meetings, processions etc. without star campaigners and Only 1 MLA has declared that he has not spent any funds on public meetings, processions etc.  without star campaigners.


8.  Expense on Campaigning through electronic/print media: 72(25%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on campaigning through electronic/print media and 219 (75%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any funds on campaigning through electronic/print media.


9.   Expense on Campaign Workers: 242(83%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on campaign workers and 49 (17%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any funds on campaign workers.


10.   Expense on Campaign Materials: 202(69%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on campaign materials and 89 (31%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any funds on campaign materials.


11.   Expense on Campaign Vehicles: 251(86%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on campaign vehicles and 40 (14%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent any funds on campaign vehicles.


12.    Expense on Publishing of Declaration Regarding Criminal Cases: 118(41%) MLAs have declared that they have spent funds on publishing of declaration regarding criminal cases and 173(59%) MLAs have declared that they have not spent funds on publishing of declaration regarding criminal cases.

image.png

Figure: Break Down of Elections Expenses Incurred by MLAs


Summary and Highlights of Funds Raised by MLAs in the West Bengal Assembly 2021 Elections


image.png

Figure: Percentage Break-down of Funds Raised by MLAs


1.  Percentage break-down of funds received by MLAs: Out of the total funds received by MLAs, 91% funds were raised from political parties, 4% were raised by MLAs themselves and 5% funds were raised from other sources.

2.  MLAs Who Raised Funds from Political Parties: Out of the 291 MLAs analyzed, 287 (99%) MLAs have declared that they have received funds from political parties and 4 (1%) MLAs have declared that they have not received any funds from political parties.

3.  MLAs Who Raised Funds through any person/ company/ firm/ associations/ body of persons etc as loan, gift or donation etc: Out of the 291 MLAs analyzed, 153 (53%) MLAs have declared that they have received funds from any person/ company/ firm/ associations/ body of persons etc as loan, gift or donation etc. and 138 (47%) MLAs have declared that they have not received any funds from any person/ company/ firm/ associations/ body of persons etc as loan, gift or donation etc.

4.   Self-funds used for election campaign: Out of the 291 MLAs analyzed, 267 (92%) MLAs have declared that they have used their own funds for their election campaign and 24(8%) MLAs have declared that they have not used any of their own funds for their election campaign

5.   Average funds raised from Political Parties (Party-wise): On an average a MLA from AITC raised 92.19% and on an average a MLA from BJP raised 87.27% of his/her election expense funds from the political party.

6.   Average funds raised through any person/company/firm/associations/body of persons etc as loan, gift or donation etc (Party-wise): On an average a MLA from BJP raised 6.85% of his/her election expense funds from any person/company/firm/associations/body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation. Similarly, a MLA from AITC raised on an average 4.72% of their expense funds from any person/ company/ firm/ associations/ body of persons etc. as loan, gift or donation.  


Contact Details


West Bengal Election Watch

Dr. Ujjaini Halim

State Coordinator

+91-98302-99326

ujjain...@hotmail.com

 

National Election Watch/Association for Democratic Reforms

 

Media and Journalist Helpline

 

+91 80103 94248

Email: a...@adrindia.org

Maj.Gen. Anil Verma (Retd)

Head

National Election Watch,

Association for Democratic Reforms

011 4165 4200,

+91 88264 79910

a...@adrIndia.org,

anil...@adrindia.org

Prof Jagdeep Chhokar

IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)

Founder Member,

National Election Watch, Association for Democratic

Reforms

+91 99996 20944

jchh...@gmail.com

Prof Trilochan Sastry

IIM Bangalore

Founder Member,

National Election Watch,

Association for Democratic Reforms

+91 94483 53285

tsa...@gmail.com



Association for Democratic Reforms

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(Near Gulmohar Commercial Complex)
Gautam Nagar
New Delhi-110 049

Mob No: +91 8010394248 
Fax No.: 011 4609 4248


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