Hyderabad: An estimated Rs 7,000 crore to Rs 9,000 crore was distributed during the 2019 election campaign (for Assembly and Lok Sabha in AP). This does not include what somecandidate had paid for getting the nomination of the party, said the Centre for Media Studies report on poll expenditure released on Tuesday.
In AP, in most districts, voters were paid together for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls because the elections were held simultaneously.
In Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts, more than half of voters were paid between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 per vote.
In 75-85 Assembly seats, nearly one lakh voters each were distributed money directly or through middlemen. In these seats a quarter of these voters (that is about 20,000-25,000) were given money by at least two parties, the TD and the YSRC. In a few constituencies, candidates of three parties distributed money
Not to forget that after the polls, a member of Parliament mentioned in a press conference that in the capital of AP one had to spend Rs 50 crore to win and that Rs 10,000 crore in all was spent in this 2019 poll in AP. He also claimed that Rs 2,000 was given per vote. If the elections for Assembly and Parliament in AP were held separately, with a time gap as in Telangana, the poll expenditure would have been more by a quarter, said the report. P.N. Vasanti, director-general, CMS, said, “The average per vote was Rs 2,000 or upwards-higher in this state and in more seats. It was more a supply-demand model which dictated the extent of money deployed. In this, it is not that voter demands but the competition between candidates which dictates how much is distributed. And this amount was not uniform, but depends on which community it was, number of voters and when poll was held.”
She further added, “Here the range of voters who were given money and the extent paid per vote (individually or in group or family wise) varied too widely – for example, in Gudivada Assembly, a voter was given Rs 2,000 at one place and Rs 7,000 at another place. The sitting candidate of a different party paid between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. ‘Competitor compulsions’ was a new phenomenon for hiking the rate in this election.”
The enforcement authorities confiscated over Rs 120 crore in cash and Rs 12 crore worth of liquor.