Third front facing fund crunch in campaign

The Election Commission has fixed a ceiling of Rs.28 lakh for candidates expenditure for Assembly elections.

Chennai: Pollsters and analysts seem to be not spotting DMDK-PWA in the election radar in Tamil Nadu. One reason could be the acute money crunch the alliance faces, it is pointed out.

While the two Dravidian majors and BJP and Congress are “flush with funds” for their campaign, PWA candidates are groping through holes in their pockets.

Recent poll surveys in various print and visual media have virtually written off the “third front” notwithstanding Vijayakant joining the alliance. The candidates of six party alliance find it difficult to match money power of AIADMK, DMK and PMK and meet their own election expenses.

The Election Commission has fixed a ceiling of Rs.28 lakh for candidates expenditure for Assembly elections. VCK general secretary and Vanur candidate D. Ravikumar said like his party’s other candidates, he too was facing a severe fund crunch to meet the election expenses. “It requires a minimum of Rs 50,000 a day for campaigning. We have to provide food for about 100 cadres who accompany me during the campaign, besides paying vehicle rent and petrol and also for pamphlets,” he wrote in his Facebook page appealing to his friends to provide funds.

“The DMK and AIADMK have made the election campaign a costly affair. A fledging party like us will not be able to match their money power. This is also a form of electoral corruption. If we spend Rs 2 lakh a week for campaign, they are spending over Rs 1 crore,” alleges VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan.

Several CPI (M), CPI, MDMK and DMDK candidates too are facing the heat of election expense. CPI (M) secretary G. Ramakrishnan has made an appeal for funds to meet his party candidates’ election expenditure. Unlike other political parties that insist that candidates themselves meet their poll expenditure, CPI (M) takes care of the election expenditure of its candidates and forbids candidates from spending money from their pocket even if they have means to meet, he said.

He said his party relies largely on the contribution by its members and working class while it refuses to accept funds from big industries and foreign capitalists as a matter of principle.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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