To keep a strict vigil on the expenditure by candidates in their campaign for the upcoming assembly elections, the district administration has fixed the price of commodities from eatables such as biscuits to SUVs. The campaign for votes is expected to get underway soon.
For Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has set an expenditure cap of ₹28 lakh per individual candidate. Those contesting the elections generally set up campaign offices, hold roadshows, arrange food and beverages for supporters, put up flags and distribute handbills to garner votes.
The district magistrate of Ghaziabad Nidhi Kesarwani said that the administration will keep a check on the expenses.
“Every third day, candidates or their representatives will be asked to come to the election office for assessment of their expenditure as per our list and the items used by candidates during the campaign. An expenditure observer will also join us soon for the purpose. With videography teams to film the candidates, they will not be able to deny their expenditure or the items used during their campaign,” the DM said.
A committee of officials priced items such as tea, coffee, various sweets, puja items, LCDs, usage of Fortuner, Audi and Mercedes cars, hoardings, posters, banners, chairs, tables, among others, which will be extensively used by party candidates during their campaign.
“The idea is to correctly price the items and to accurately assess the election expenditure submitted by the candidates. Almost all items that will be used by candidates during their campaign have been priced after a market survey. This will help keep a tab on the expenditure and ensure that it does not exceed the limit set by the Election Commission of India,” the DM said.
Items such as tables, fans, sofas, beds, buckets, different lights, ceiling fans, pandals etc have been priced per day usage. Items such as banners, posters, caps, flags, dance parties etc have been priced on per day and per square metre. Flowers and garlands have been priced per piece. Use of SUVs, cars and commercial vehicles are priced taking into account a base fare and charge per additional kilometre, besides night charges.
How will the election expenditure be counted?
The administration has formed videography teams for each assembly segment that will film roadshows, campaigns and publicity items used by candidates. The videos will be submitted to the district election office, where an assessment of the expenditure will be done, based on the prices set by a district administration committee.
The Election Commission of India has set a cap of ₹28 lakh on expense by individual candidates.
For meeting the expenses, each candidate will also have to open a separate account for making campaign-related payments. As per ECI guidelines, any amount exceeding Rs20,000 will have to be paid through a cheque.
List of items and estimated price
Namkeen: Rs 120 per kg
Laddu: Rs 180 per kg
Coconut: Rs 20
Incense sticks: Rs 10
Samosa/ bread pakoda: Rs 10
Loudspeaker: Rs 1,350 per day
Flag up to 3 feet: Rs 10
Flag up to 8 feet: Rs 20
Audio cassettes: Rs 1,250
Cap: Rs 60 per dozen
Marigold flowers: Rs 120 per kg
Garland: Rs 7 to Rs 350
Pandit/pujari: Rs 1,100
Fortuner/Pajero: Rs 8000 per day for a minimum of 200km, Rs 40 per additional km, Rs 400 charge per night
Mercedez: Rs 12,000 per day for a minimum of 200km; Rs 60 per additional km; Rs 400 charge per night