Hyderabad: The TRS and the Congress have left it to local leaders and candidates to pay the election expenditure in the upcoming zilla parishad and mandal parishad elections. Both parties have informed the local leaders not to expect any funding.
The state has 535 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencys (ZPTC) and 5,317 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencys (MPTC). Political leaders have estimated that each ZPTC candidate will have to spend up to Rs 50 lakh and each MPTC candidate Rs 10 lakh. The official expenditure limit is Rs 4 lakh for each ZPTC candidate and Rs 1.5 lakh for each MPTC candidate. A senior TRS leader said that an aspiring ZP chairperson will need to spend about Rs 2 crore.
Each voter has to cast two votes — one for the MPTC and the other for the ZPTC. In the absence of party funding, MPTC candidates will have to raise their own money and depend on the ZPTC candidates for funds. On average, each ZPTC has 10 MPTCs. The ZPTC candidates will depend on the ZP chairperson aspirant for funds.
TRS leaders said that in many districts, the party would select the ZP chairperson candidate and this will be made known to the party’s contestants. The candidate has to provide financial help down the line.
The MLAs are not in a position to help financially the ZPTC and MPTC candidates as three months ago they spent large amounts of money on the Assembly elections. The TRS had spent huge funds for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and decided not spend on the local body elections. For the Congress. the high command provided funds for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The TPCC has no funds for the local polls.
At a meeting held by TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy three days ago to discuss the elections, some senior leaders said that when the party was not in a position to provide funds, the responsibility of candidate selection should be handed over to local leaders. The party has decided to go with the ‘select and elect’ policy.
A Congress leader said the TPCC required about Rs 1 crore for the maintenance of Gandhi Bhavan and Rs 10 lakh to pay the salaries for staff.
He said TPCC Chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy were providing the funds every month. Against this backdrop, the TPCC has informed the local leaders not to expect ant funds from the party for the elections.