Kerala Assembly Polls: They Barely Spent Out Of Pocket To Win! | News Thiruvananthapuram

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(Left-right) KM Mani and Oommen Chandy

THIRVANANTHAPURAM: Legislative candidates fueled their election campaigns primarily with funds they obtain in the form of gifts, donations, and loans rather than their own funds and monetary support from political parties. In the 2016 assembly polls, a few winners barely spent their equity or took a dime out of their pockets at all.
KM Mani, who ran for office with Rs 40,000 in cash, assets worth over Rs 1 crore and a host of corruption allegations in 2016, received a lump sum of 21.6 Rs lakh as a loan / gift / donation and his total expenditure was Rs 29.5 lakh according to the statement of expenditure filed with the Election Commission. Its equity expenses were nil. His opponent Mani C Kappan received only Rs 10,000 as a contribution in terms of loan and donation and his party spent Rs 25 lakh on what turned out to be a lost cause.
In Puthupally, Oommen Chandy crushed his opponents by spending only 30,000 rupees on their own funds. He also got Rs 3.95 lakh in loan, gift and donation and Rs 10 lakh from his party. Jaick C Thomas, the CPM candidate for Puthupally, spent nothing out of his pocket and neither had party funding. His total expenditure of Rs 12 lakh was from loan, gift and donation.
Pinarayi Vijayan had spent Rs 16 lakh for his election campaign in Dharmadom. Ramesh Chennithala didn’t take the risk by being stingy in his safe seat in Haripad. He spent Rs 6.57 lakh from his own funds and received Rs 10 lakh from the party and got Rs 11.3 lakh in gift, donation and loan making it Rs 27.87 lakh.
K Babu, who lost to M Swaraj in Thripunithara, was an exception for capital expenditure. He spent Rs 6.25 lakh on his own funds and received Rs 11 lakh from his party. Swaraj, on the other hand, relied almost entirely on loan, gift, and gift. His total expenses were Rs 19.65 lakh, of which he only spent Rs 15,000 out of his pocket and received nothing from his party.
U Prathibha, who won from Kayamkulam, only spent Rs 1,950 from his wallet and took Rs 27 lakh on loan. Later, she had to explain that her election expense account differed from EC’s shadow ledger, showing a difference of Rs 10.85 lakh. Prathibha said she used substandard substances to campaign and that some of the workers were party supporters who worked with meager wages.
VS Sivakumar, who won from Thiruvananthapuram, got a loan of Rs 18 lakh from six people and he did not spend his own funds. Ministers KK Shailaja and J Mercykutty Amma also saved their own funds in 2016. While Mercykutty Amma fully wagered on Rs 19 lakh received as a gift / donation, Shailaja received Rs 20 lakh from the party. TN Seema was a candidate who did not accept any gifts / donations. She spent Rs 3.8 lakh on her own funds and obtained an additional cushion of Rs 20.43 lakh from her party in Vattiyoorkavu. K Muraleedharan, the winner, spent Rs 9.63 lakh on his own funds and took Rs 5 lakh on loan / donation / gift.

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