Saturday, May 25, 2024

-POMPOUS NOMINATION RALLIES- Candidates splurge huge amounts

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Despite scrutiny by election expenditure observers over the spending of contesting candidates, major political party leaders are organising extravagant rallies to flaunt their prowess against opponents, lavishing crores of rupees with apparent impunity.
Before filing their nomination papers at the offices of Parliamentary Constituency (PC) and Assembly Constituency (AC) Returning Officers, candidates have been splurging substantial sums to muster crowds for their processions.
While the Election Commission of India (ECI) stipulates a spending limit of Rs 95 lakh for candidates in each Lok Sabha constituency and Rs 40 lakh for Assembly constituency candidates, prominent parties like YSRCP, TDP, BJP, and JSP are reportedly surpassing these limits by spending approximately Rs 1 crore solely on the day of filing nominations.
Curiously, expenses incurred during the nomination filing processions are not factored into the candidates’ expenditures, as noted by expenditure observers. Party leaders have been mustering thousands of attendees, alongside their cadre, for these rallies.
To achieve this, parties are paying individuals Rs. 300 each, with additional costs of Rs. 1,500 for autos and Rs. 3,000 for cars for transportation, yet these expenses are not reflected in the candidates’ spending.
Recently, TDP Vijayawada Lok Sabha candidate Kesineni Sivanath, also known as Chinni, orchestrated a massive rally from Radham Centre to the NTR district collectorate, with the participation of thousands, facilitated by paid wages from TDP, BJP, and JSP.
Various artists were hired to showcase their talents during nomination filing processions, with BJP’s Vijayawada West Candidate Sujana Chowdary and YSRCP’s Vijayawada West Candidate Shaik Asif organizing similar events.
Likewise, other candidates in NTR and Krishna districts plan to stage large rallies following their nomination filings before respective Returning Officers.
Every MP and MLA candidate is vying to organize the most substantial rallies, intending to gather thousands of attendees by offering daily wages of Rs. 300.
Moreover, candidates are expending funds on necessities like buttermilk and drinking water due to soaring temperatures. After these nomination filing rallies, nearly all party candidates distributed biryani packets to attendees.
Political analysts estimate that major parties are conducting rallies with 5,000 to 10,000 attendees, with about half being brought in through wage payments. Leaders are also bearing the expenses of providing drinking water, buttermilk, and biryani packets, amounting to Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, as per analysts. Regrettably, Election Commission (EC)-appointed observers have reportedly overlooked these rallies and expenditures, which exceed candidates’ expenditure limits on nomination filing days. Analysts urge election expenditure observers to focus on these expenses.

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