crore in the Lok Sabha polls. Rao claimed that different industries in different states contribute to election funding. “Be it the tendu leaf business, mining business or the cement industry, they all contribute,” he added.
While the official limit for each of the Parliamentary candidates in 543 constituencies has been fixed at R70 lakh, the previous experience of different agencies at the ground level shows that this time around, each of the contestants, in majority of the cases , may end up spending up to R7 crore, the scanner of the Election Commission notwithstanding, the Assocham study noted.
“It is extremely difficult for the official machinery to minutely monitor the expenditure details of the candidates… The past experience shows that the number of crorepatis fighting the elections far exceeded the commoner, who would find even R70 lakh difficult to raise unless he or she is from a cash-rich big party,” the study added.
As per the self-sworn affidavits of candidates who contested in the first four phases of the ongoing elections, there were 16, 23, 397 and 20 crorepatis, respectively, in the fray. The analysis was conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms, a civil society group vying for transparency in Indian politics, and uploaded on its website recently. Also, the average assets (per candidate) of the candidates in the first four phases of the ongoing elections stood at R5.75 crore, R9.12 crore, R3.05 crore and R2.12 crore, respectively, the report noted.
Boost to economy
The businesses in the media such as television channels, newspapers, city hoardings, printers, social media, transport and hospitality such as bus/taxi operators, tents/ scaffoldings, caterers and airlines will see a direct positive impact of the election budgets of the political parties, as also the state machinery.
“However, the greater economic impact would be seen in the form of the GDP multiplier effect since those earning from the elections would be spending at least 80-90% of such earnings. The propensity to save is small among the workers, employees and even the owners of the unorganised businesses, which will generally be more useful for electioneering except TV channels and newspapers,” Assocham president Rana Kapoor was quoted as saying in a press release.
However, he said the study has sought to capture the ground situation and in no way reflects an endorsement by Assocham on the use of money power in elections.
“We stand for elections, which are free from money