Moving away from the popular belief that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had the least to spend on their campaign trail, the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in Gurgaon has a different story to tell.
According to the data submitted to the Election Commission (EC), on April 7, while the AAP spent more than Rs 56 lakh, it out-spent the richest candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Gurgaon, Rao Inderjit Singh, by more Rs 22 lakh.
However the AAP claimed that while other parties had under-reported their expenses, it was a proof of their transparency in disclosing money spent to their campaigning.
“The entire expenditure system is faulty because in spite of spending a 100 times more than us, other political parties have managed to manipulate their expenses and accounts. Further, it also shows our transparency and authenticity,” said Yogendra Yadav, Gurgaon’s AAP candidate.
The Lok Sabha elections were held in Gurgaon on April 10, as part of the phase -3 of the nine-phased electoral process.
“As per the documents submitted by the parties on January 7, the AAP leads in the list of the party with most expenses at a little over `54 lakh, leaving behind the BJP, the Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD),” said KS Malik, Nodal Officer, Expenditure, Gurgaon.
The AAP was followed by the BJP, the BSP, the INC and the INLD respectively in the list of expenditure.
While the information collected has been provided by the parties, they have time till June 16, to further assess their total expenses and make changes, after which the documents and the amount would be corroborated by the EC.
“The parties will have one month after the completion of the vote counting (May 16) to give the final details of their expenses. However if the amount of the party and that of the EC doesn’t match, the parties will have seven days to answer to EC,” Malik added.
As per the data, while the AAP has spent more than the BJP, the BSP, INC and the INLD, it has spent more than double the amount spent by the second richest candidate from Gurgaon, Zakir Hussain of INLD. “There is a need for an immediate change in the expenditure system in our country,” Yadav added.