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Candidates deplore expense limit

Every candidate is badly stung by the limit of expenses during the election, which is Rs 11 lakh. As a result, candidates have curtailed their expenditure, having no option. Nihi Sharma Sahani reports.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2012 15:38 IST
Nihi Sharma Sahani

Congress candidate from Rajpur (reserved) seat, Rajkumar had plans to distribute poll material like calendars, handbooks, diaries, clocks and other miscellaneous things to people of his constituency. But, the election commission’s restriction on expenses shattered his scheme. Not only Rajkumar, every candidate is badly stung by the limit of expenses during the election, which is Rs 11 lakh. As a result, candidates have curtailed their expenditure, having no option.

Rajkumar told Hindustan Times, “Of course it’s getting very difficult to manage campaigning in just Rs 11 lakh. We have started going door-to-door, but a hefty sum is required when canvassing progresses on wheels. I even wanted to publish designed poll material like calendars and other things.”

The candidates are taking extra precaution while spending money as their expenses are directly on the radar of the EC. The commission is keeping a strict watch on each candidate so that no one spends more than the approved amount during canvassing. According to Trivendra Singh Rawat, BJP candidate from Raipur seat, price rise has added to the candidates’ woes. He is of the view that price of every commodity has gone up, including petrol that is used in vehicles during canvassing.

Hence, managing the entire canvassing schedule in just R 11 lakh is next to impossible. “We are positive about the decision of the election commission to limit the expenditure. But that’s practically impossible. With price of each commodity at its peak, campaigning in just R 11 lakh will not be an easy task. Hope this decision changes in coming years” Rawat said.

While some candidates are busy complaining about the limitation, others have adopted simpler ways of canvassing that do not require funds. Devender Sethi, Congress candidate from Cantt seat, said that he would cover as many doors as possible on foot so that he would not require more funds. He added that the sum was enough to plan future canvassing.

He said, “I think R 11 lakh is enough for campaigning. My present strategy is to do door-to-door canvassing. I want to cover almost all doors on foot. It will help me in curtailing expenses and preparing a better plan for further campaigning.”