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State spent Rs. 569 cr in last election

Members of Youth Net during the release of their report on 2008 election expenses at Dream Café, Kohima, Tuesday. (NP)
Correspondent: Kohima, 12 Aug 2008
Published on 13 Aug. 2008 12:53 AM IST
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In the last general election to the Nagaland legislative assembly in March 2008, the state spent around Rs. 569 crores in just four months, disclosed an assessment survey report carried out by Youth Net on the expenditure of the 216 candidates of the 2008 election from November till February.
The NPF party was reported to have spent the highest with Rs. 195 crores, followed by INC Rs. 183 crores, RJD Rs. 47 crores, BJP Rs. 34 crores, NCP Rs. 8 crores and JD (U) Rs. 2 crores.
Other parties like JD (S), LJP, UNDP and APP spent Rs. 1 crore each, while the different Independent candidates put together spent Rs. 92 crores, according to the survey.
In the district-wise expenses survey, Mokokchung topped the list with a total spending of Rs. 127 crores, followed by Dimapur Rs. 93 crores, Zunheboto Rs.89 crores, Kohima 65 crores, Wokha Rs. 54 crores, Mon Rs.38 crores, Phek Rs.34 crores, Peren Rs.19 crores, Tuensang Rs. 18 crores, Longleng Rs.15 crores and Kiphire Rs.6 crores,
While the Nagaland Election Watch earlier declared 58 candidates as crorepatis, the survey showed that 142 candidates spent more than Rs. 1 crore, 39 candidates spent more than Rs. 5 crores, and eight candidates spent more than Rs. 10 crores. Of the eight candidates, two from Dimapur and one each from Wokha and Mokokchung, spent an approximate of 15 crores each.
Only ten candidates kept their election expenditure within Rs. 5 lakhs, the maximum election expenditure for a candidate as laid down by the Election Commission in its code of conduct.
Two candidates hailing from Mokokchung district and one from Kohima incurred the least expenditure of 2 lakhs each, while three constituencies, one under Mon and two under Tuensang districts spent less than Rs. 1 crore.
Out of the 60 candidates who won in the election, 55 candidates spent more than 1 crore.
Of the other five winning candidates who spent less than Rs. 1 crore, two are from Mon and three from Tuensang districts.
According to the survey, candidates from eastern part of Nagaland incurred less expenditure compared to candidates from other parts.
Youth Net carried out the survey and assessment with an objective to highlight and create awareness among the people the alarming level of corruption that prevails in the state, especially during the elections.
The report stated that unhealthy practice of corruption during the election was the root cause for lack of development and perpetuating rampant corruption in government functioning in the state.
Stating that Nagaland was reported to have 32.67% people living below the poverty line (BPL) as per the DoNER annual report 2006-07, coordinator of Youth Net Hekani Jakhalu said the huge amount of money spent during the elections had not developed the lives of the people.
Hekani said people need to understand the seriousness of the issue and question themselves, which she said would be a step towards a better and less corrupted election in the next 2013 general elections.

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