Discrepancies surface in MPs’ claims of aid from parties: Report

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) In another display of lack of transparency in election expenditure, a report by a thinktank on Wednesday highlighted difference in amount that MPs show as aid from their parties, the list including Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with others.

As per the report, Modi in his own affidavit on election expenditure, said he got Rs.32,53,474 from the BJP as aid for contesting election in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, but the affidavit by the BJP said he was given Rs.40,00,000 for it, thinktank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has reported.

In the list is also Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior leader L.K. Advani, who declared to the Election Commission he received Rs.33,88,079 from his party for fighting the poll in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The BJP’s affidavit to the Election Commission puts the figure at Rs.41,00,000.

According to the report, only 67 percent of the sitting MPs’ claims of receiving a lumpsum amount matched correctly against the claims made by their parties and discrepancies in the figures of monetary expenditure given by MPs for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and that given by their parties is highest in the BJP, which has the largest number of MPs in the lower house.

“Between the amounts declared by the MPs and their parties, there was a difference of Rs.148.28 lakh,” the report said.

In BJP, the ruling party, 229 out of 282 MPs claimed they got financial aid from their party for the poll. The total of amount that MPs claimed they got from the party is Rs.6,588.26 lakh.

However, the BJP in its declaration said it gave aid to 159 MPs worth Rs.4,825.04 lakh.

Even out of the 159 MPs, to whom the BJP said it gave aid, only 105 MPs have declared the same amount as mentioned by the political party, whereas 18 MPs have said they have received an amount from the party which is lesser than what the party claims to have granted.

Meanwhile, 35 BJP MPs have declared an amount which is higher than what the party has said to have given them for their Lok Sabha polls expenditure.

According to ADR, at least of 70 BJP MPs declared that various lumpsum amounts were provided by their party for their election expenditure, while the BJP’s election expenditure statement does not include their names.

The list includes MPs such as Jayant Sinha (declared Rs.45 lakh); Uma Bharti (declared Rs.40 lakh); Murli Manohar Joshi (declared Rs.38.50 lakh), Sumitra Mahajan (declared Rs.11 lakh), Hema Malini (declared Rs.33 lakh) and Maneka Gandhi (declared Rs.20 lakh).

In the Congress, out of 44 MPs, 18 claimed to have gotten aid from the party worth Rs.403.60 lakh, but the Congress on the contrary said it gave aid to only seven candidates, worth Rs.270.00 lakh.

In the Congress, there were 11 such MPs who said they got money from the party but party’s affidavit did not mention their name, including K.V. Thomas (declared Rs.20,00,000) and M. Ramachandran (declared Rs.31,50,000).

“The CPM is the only party in which the declarations made by the party and its MPs match with respect to the lumpsum amount for election expenditure,” the report said.

The BSP was out of the report as it has no Lok Sabha member.

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