Patna, July 28: Money power is hardly the key to win elections.
In spite of the JDU accusing the BJP of using “money power” during the campaign for the April-May general election, the figures submitted by different candidates to the state chief electoral officer show the former spent more than the latter.
According to the figures gleaned by The Telegraph, the JDU spent Rs 12,46,26,734, whereas the BJP spent Rs 12,21,03,713 in the state. The BJP contested 30 seats. The JDU fielded its candidates in 38 constituencies.
The figures are based on the expenditure details submitted by different candidates. The nature of expenses include vehicle for transporting visitors, putting up stage, barricading, furniture, poles, flower, garland, hiring loudspeakers and microphones, posters, handbills, pamphlets, banner, cut-out and hoarding. The expenses also include using of digital television, payment to musicians and security guards, helicopter and generator charges, boarding of candidates, celebrities and party functionaries.
Among the JDU candidates, Sharad Yadav from Madhepura parliamentary seat tops the list with an expenditure of Rs 53,89,283. Interestingly, he lost to Pappu Yadav, who had shown an expenditure of Rs 47,33,830.
According to the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, the ceiling on poll expenditure for a Lok Sabha seat is Rs 70 lakh.
Several candidates in the state lost despite spending more than their victorious contenders. The BJP’s Cheddi Paswan won in the Sasaram parliamentary seat spending Rs 32,18,439. The JDU candidate, K.P. Ramaiah, lost despite spending Rs 40,08,570.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, the daughter of Dalit icon Babu Jagjivan Ram aiming at a hat-trick of win from Sasaram, had spent Rs 31,07,365 on the campaign.
Similarly, former governor Nikhil Kumar (Congress) spent Rs 43,88,580 (highest in Congress) in the election. But he was also defeated by the BJP candidate, Sushil Kumar Singh, who spent Rs 20,00,000, less than half of the total amount spent by Nikhil, the son of former chief minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha, who represented Aurangabad for seven consecutive terms in the Lok Sabha.
The trend was the same in the Madhubani and Purvi Champaran parliamentary seats, where BJP candidates Hukum Deo Narayan Yadav and Radha Mohan Singh emerged winners in their respective constituencies against the RJD candidate Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Binod Kumar Shrivastava, respectively. Hukum spent Rs 27,72,143 against Siddiqui’s Rs 31,72,926. On the other hand, Radha Mohan spent Rs 40,08,216 against Binod’s Rs 44,10,634.
Among the BJP candidates, Om Prakash Yadav (winner) of Siwan parliamentary seat tops the list of showing highest expenditure of Rs 61,77,287, while Veena Devi (winner) from Munger parliamentary seat tops the list among LJP candidates with the expenditure of Rs 56,98,415. Overall, the LJP spent Rs 2,53,23,418 and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) had spent Rs 1,29,77,760. Arun Kumar of RLSP tops the list in the party with Rs 52,94,992 (winner).
In the RJD, Darbhanga candidate Mohammad Ali Asraf Fatmi tops the list with Rs 48,47,211. Overall, the RJD candidates had spent Rs 9,05,99,782 during the election campaign and the Congress spent Rs 3,87,69,945.
So far as other big guns are concerned, Shatrughan Sinha (winner) from Patna Sahib spent Rs 51,02,295 and emerged winner against Congress candidate Kunal Singh, who had showed an expenditure of Rs 25,20,652. In the same constituency, Parveen Amanullah, social activist and wife of senior IAS officer Afzal Amanullah and daughter of former MP Syed Shahabuddin, tops the list of spending highest (Rs 22,09,162) among the Aam Admi Party candidates. Overall, the AAP candidates had spent Rs 1,92,42,824.
In the Pataliputra parliamentary seat, the BJP candidate, Ram Kripal Yadav (winner), spent more money (Rs 50,68,614) than RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti, who had shown the expenditure of Rs 45,58,616.
Similarly, BJP candidate Ravji Pratap Rudy (winner) had spent more money (Rs 37,33,967) than former chief minister Rabri Devi with Rs 25,79,512 in Saran.
BJP state president Mangal Pandey said: “Candidates’ expenditure data submitted to the Election Commission is an authentic document. It proves that despite the JDU spending more in election campaign, the mandate has come to the BJP. It means the people of Bihar have rejected the money factor and voted in favour of the BJP.”
On the other hand, JDU spokesperson Ajay Alok alleged that the BJP candidates did not give the actual figure in their expenditure details. “What the JDU candidates have spent is what they have shown, whereas the BJP candidates have not given the actual detail in their expenditure. In reality, the BJP candidates have spent eight times more than what they have shown,” said Alok.