Satish Patel, the BJP MLA from Karjan constituency in Vadodara, was the highest spender in the recently concluded Assembly elections, going by the accounts he has submitted to the Election Commission. Patel spent Rs 36.76 lakh, or 230% of the expense limit of Rs 16 lakh for each MLA as set by EC.
The lowest spender at 43,000 (or 3% of the expense limit) is Bhupendrasinh Chudasama of BJP who won from Dholka constituency and is now minister of state for education, law and civil supplies.
The data was analysed and released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), based on information given to the EC.
The second highest spender is Chandrikaben Bariya, the Congress MLA from Garbada (ST) constituency, who spent around Rs 14.55 lakh or 91% of the expense limit.
The average spending by each of the 182 MLAs during the December 2012 elections comes to only Rs 8.66 lakh, which is 54% of the expense limit of Rs 16 lakh.
Meanwhile, Manisha Vakil, an MLA from Vadodara City, and Ramesh Katara (Fatepura) have declared election expenses that exceed their total assets as declared in their self-sworn affidavits to Election Commission.
While Manisha’s assets is about Rs 7 lakh, she spent over Rs 9.86 lakh in the elections. Similarly, Ramesh who has total assets worth Rs 6 lakh, has spent over Rs 7.92 lakh.
BJP MLAs spent the least, states the ADR report.
The average spending by 115 BJP MLAs comes to Rs 8.46 lakh (or 53% of the expense limit) while for the 61 Congress MLAs, it was 8.98 lakh (or 56% of the expense limit).
As a party, the two NCP MLAs elected to the Gujarat Assembly showed the highest election expenditure at Rs 10.52 lakh or 66% of their expense limit. For two MLAs of Gujarat Parivartan Party, the figure stood at Rs 8.42 lakh, while the lone JD (U) MLA spent Rs 7.88 lakh, which is 49% of the expense limit, states the ADR report that was released on Tuesday.
Of the total 182 MLAs, four declared they had not spent any amount on public meetings, processions etc. as per their election expenses. They are Madhu Srivastav (Waghodia), Praful Pansheriya (Kamrej), Varsha Doshi (Wadhwan) and Bhupendrasinh Chudasama (Dholka). All of them are from BJP.
The ADR report also states there are 56 MLAs who have declared they have not spent any amount on campaigning through electronic/print