Actor Vinod Khanna, who won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat from Punjab for the BJP, sits on top of the region’s list and in the national top 10 in terms of election expenses declared. At Rs. 63,95,916 - 91% of the permitted Rs. 70 lakh - Khanna was number 7 nationally, as per data compiled from the Election Commission and analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The ADR report, which analysed the winners, says the four MPs from Himachal Pradesh, all from the BJP, spent an average of Rs. 46,93,421 (62.2% of the limit). The maximum expense of Rs. 82.4 lakh (118% of limit) was declared by Gourav Gogi of the Congress from Kaliabor constituency in Assam. The EC had raised the election expenditure from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 70 lakh for big states while for smaller states like Goa it was raised from Rs. 22 lakh to Rs. 52 lakh. The lowest was Rs. 11,83,729 (17%) declared by YSR Congress Party’s Midhun Reddy from Rajampet constituency in Andhra Pradesh.
BJP veteran Shanta Kumar from Kangra constituency in HP ranked 67 nationally and the highest in the state, followed by Ram Swaroop Sharma from Mandi at 114, Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur at 154, and Virender Kashyap from Shimla at rank 425.
Of the total expenses, on public meetings Shanta spent Rs. 22,32,985, Anurag Thakur Rs. 15,15,629, Ram Swaroop Sharma Rs. 3,35,250 and Kashyap Rs. 3,15,092.
There are 34 seats from the region. Others ranked after number 10 in the region are Ranjit Singh Brahmpura of the SAD from Khadoor Sahib in Punjab (nationally 226/543), Deepender Hooda (Cong, Rohtak) at 287, Rajkumar Saini (BJP, Kurukshetra) at 307, Rao Inderjit Singh (BJP, Gurgaon) at 334, Rattan Lal Kataria (BJP, Ambala) at 337. From the AAP, which won all its four seats from Punjab, Patiala winner Dharamvira Gandhi is ranked 344th nationally. From HP, Virender Kashyap (BJP, Shimla) is 24th in the region and 425/543 nationally. On Chandigarh’s lone seat, winner Kirron Kher of the BJP stood 26th in region and 426th nationally. The report is available on www.adrindia.org.