The expenditure statements of political parties contain details of lumpsum amount given to the candidates and the abstract statements of candidates provide information on lumpsum amount received from the parties.
According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) analyses the difference in the declarations made by political parties and their MPs on the lumpsum amounts granted and received as part of election expenditure during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
· A total of 388 MPs expenditure statements were analysed. And out of 277 MPs from national parties, a total of Rs 7,46,58,901 (~ Rs 7.46 crores) was declared by 75 MPs as received from their parties but the national parties have declared that Rs 14,19,12,228 (~ Rs 14.19 crores) was given to 138 MPs
· Of the regional parties, a total of 15 MPs from 12 different parties and belonging to 9 different states have mentioned various amounts as received from their respective parties which do not match with the affidavits submitted by the parties
· Party-wise breakup of difference in amounts declared by the MPs:
· Out of 123 MPs to whom INC has declared to have given lumpsum amounts for election expenditure, 81 MPs have declared NIL amount received. Shri Pranab Mukherjee who was given Rs. 15 lacs as declared by the party, has mentioned that no lump sum amount was received for his election expenses. Others include Subodh Kant Sahay, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Manish Tewari, Sachin Pilot, P. Chidambaram, Beni Prasad Verma, etc
· BJP, on the other hand, reports that they did not financially support even one winning candidate but 25 MPs declared that they received a total of Rs 2,75,49,383 (~Rs2.75 crores) from their party
· Party-wise grant to MPs given by national parties for Election Expenditure:
· INC declared having given Rs 4.5 lakhs each to 2 MPs, Rs 5 lakhs each to 2 MPs, Rs 10 lakhs each to 116 MPs, Rs 15 lakhs each to 2 MPs and Rs 25 lakhs to 1 MP for their election expenditure
· CPM declared having given a total of Rs 20.68 lakhs to 3 MPs, each receiving amounts below Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 144.60 lakhs to 10 MPs, each receiving more than Rs 10 lakhs
· Ministers declaration of election expenditure:
· A total of Rs 3,45,50,000 (~Rs 3.45 crores) was given by INC to its 33 Ministers. 22 Ministers have declared they received no amount while only 4 have declared the same amount as their partys declaration
· Sriprakash Jaiswal (Minister of Coal), Dinsha Patel (Minister of Mines), P.Chidambaram (Minister of Finance) among 23 others have declared that they received no lumpsum amount from their parties while INC declared they gave a total of Rs 2.35 crores or an average of Rs 10 lakhs to these 23 MPs
Recommendations of ADR:
1. Submission of Election Expenses by unrecognized parties
Currently, the election expenditure statements have to be submitted only by national and recognized regional parties within 90 days after the elections and not by unrecognized parties. It would only improve financial transparency if all contesting parties disclosed their election expenditure during Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections.
2. Details of donors
Details of the donors such as their names, companies, address and the individual contribution is unavailable for public scrutiny. Hence, a format similar to the donations report, submitted to the ECI on an annual basis, has to be prescribed so as to bring in more transparency in the functioning of the political parties especially during elections. The format should include all modes of payments such as Cash, DD, Cheque and Electronic transfer along with donors names.