A report by a thinktank on Wednesday highlighted discrepancies in election expenditure shown by MPs as aid from their parties. Among those who have have come under the scrutiny include person less than the Prime Minister himself.
As per the report, PM Modi in his own affidavit on election expenditure, had said to have received Rs.32,53,474 from the BJP as aid for contesting election in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. But the affidavit by the BJP said he was given Rs.40,00,000 for election campaign, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has reported.
In the list is also Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior leader L.K. Advani, who declared before the Election Commission that he had received Rs.33,88,079 from his party for fighting the poll in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The BJP’s affidavit to the Election Commission put the figure at Rs.41,00,000.
According to the report, only 67 percent of the sitting MPs’ claims of receiving a consolidated amount matched correctly against the claims made by their parties. The discrepancies in the figures of monetary expenditure given by MPs and their parties for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is highest in the BJP, which has the largest number of parliamentarians in the lower house.
“Between the amounts declared by the MPs and their parties, there was a difference of Rs.148.28 lakh,” the report said.
In BJP, the ruling party, 229 out of 282 MPs claimed they got financial aid from their party for the poll. The total amount that MPs claimed they received from the party was Rs.65.88 crore
However, the BJP in its declaration said it gave aid to 159 MPs worth Rs.48.25 crore.
Out of 159 MPs, who the BJP claimed to have given financial aid, only 105 MPs declared the same amount as stated by their party, whereas 18 MPs said they had received an amount from the party which which was less than the party claims to have granted.
Meanwhile, 35 BJP MPs have declared an amount which is higher than what the party has said to have given them for their Lok Sabha polls expenditure.
According to ADR, at least of 70 BJP MPs declared that various consolidated amounts were provided by their party for their election expenditure, while the BJP’s election expenditure statement did not include their names.
The list includes MPs such as Jayant Sinha (declared Rs.45 lakh); Uma Bharti (declared Rs.40 lakh); Murli Manohar Joshi (declared Rs.38.50 lakh), Sumitra Mahajan (declared Rs.11 lakh), Hema Malini (declared Rs.33 lakh) and Maneka Gandhi (declared Rs.20 lakh).
In Congress, out of 44 MPs, 18 claimed to have received aid from the party worth Rs.40.36 crore, but the Congress said it gave aid to only seven candidates, worth Rs.2.70 crore.
Congress also had 11 MPs , who said they got money from the party but party’s affidavit did not mention their names, including K.V. Thomas (declared Rs.20,00,000) and M. Ramachandran (declared Rs.31,50,000).
“The CPM is the only party in which the declarations made by the party and its MPs match with respect to the consolidated amount for election expenditure,” the report said.