DMK’s poll expenditure leaves Left red-faced

The DMK has included this sum in its poll expenses.

Chennai: The Left is red in the face, thanks to all the excitement caused by the revelation that the DMK in its expenditure affidavit filed before the Election Commission for the Lok Sabha polls in April has claimed it paid Rs 40 crore to its allies — Rs 15 crore each to the CPI and the Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi, and Rs 10 crore to the CPI (M). The DMK has included this sum in its poll expenses.

While it is still unclear whether the DMK has paid similar sums to the other allies — PMK, Congress, MDMK, VCK, IUML and MMK — the two Left parties appear to be scurrying for cover from probing media queries on the nature of the sums received from the DMK and the manner in which they were spent.

Also, the DMK declaration to EC that its total poll expenditure was Rs 79.26 crore appears a bit strange as it would mean that the party had spent less than `30 crore in all the 21 LS constituencies it had then contested and won. The Vellore poll was held later, in early August. It is not known if the DMK has included the Vellore election too in its total expenditure.

Inconvenient questions started popping up as it why the two Left parties received such huge sums from the DMK as they only contested two seats each, and won both. The Kongu party had contested just one seat and won.

CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan has said there was nothing wrong or unusual in the money transaction and it should not be linked to the number of constituencies it contested. A media report quoted him saying his party had spent over `10 crore for the election in Tamil Nadu “because we campaigned not only in the two seats we had contested but in all the 39 seats in TN”. The Marxist leaders are claiming they spent money in all the constituencies in TN to mobilise their cadres.

CPI (M) has also come out with a statement claiming there was nothing wrong or unusual about the money transaction and also accusing the media of sensationalising a non-issue.

The party had submitted to the EC the entire account of donations and expenditure incurred during the polls, not only in Tamil Nadu but all over India, it said, adding that a few sections of media have put out reports based on falsehood created with the sole intention of sullying the party's image.

Meanwhile, the CPI has come out with an even more 'interesting' take on the DMK money, claiming that the `15 crore received had nothing to do with the elections. “We took it for other requirements and we will return it”, CPI state secretary R Mutharasan was quoted saying.

If that is correct, how come the DMK showed this amount as part of its poll expenses? The EC and other related agencies monitoring such interesting poll-related income-expenditure claims of the TN parties might have some exciting days ahead. And they must bring under the scanner the AIADMK affidavit too as it claimed to have spent `20.04 crore during the LS polls.

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