Queen spends over Rs 40 lakhs on her campaign, highest among her rivals
GUWAHATI: The BJP candidate for the Gauhati Lok Sabha (LS) constituency, Queen Ojha, stood first among her rivals when it came to the amount of money she spent on her election campaign.
As per data available with the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam, Ojha spent more than Rs 40 lakhs on her canvassing, the highest among the contenders contesting in this election for the prestigious Gauhati LS seat.
The expenditure was incurred since the time of filing her nomination on 1st April till three days prior to the third phase of polling in Assam that took place on 23rd April.
With an expenditure of around Rs 37.5 lakhs, Independent candidate Upamanyu Hazarika came second in the list.
Hazarika, who is banking on the khilonjiya (indigenous) sentiment of Assamese people and has made this the key issue of his campaign, spent the money since 3rd April, the day of submitting his nomination, until 20th April.
The senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India is expected to give a tough fight to the top two contenders of the Gauhati LS seat, Queen Ojha and Congress’s Bobbeeta Sharma.
Sharma made an expense of approximately Rs 19.7 lakhs on her campaign since the time of filing her nomination on 1st April till the day of 18th April.
Most of the money shelled out by these three candidates covered the costs of hiring vehicles, organizing meetings, arranging refreshments for their supporters etc.
Among the lesser-known faces battling for the Gauhati LS seat, Samajwadi Party candidate Ratul Kumar Choudhury had spent around Rs 2.34 lakhs between the time of filing his nomination on 2nd April and 15th April.
Independent candidate Junmoni Devi Khaund incurred an expenditure of nearly Rs 1.9 lakhs on her campaign until 20th April.
However, the final figures for all the candidates are expected to go up, as the candidates have been instructed by the Election Commission to provide full details of their poll expenditure starting from the day of filing their nominations to the day of declaring the results.
Speaking to G Plus, Assam Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu said, “The report of the election expenditure monitoring committee is not complete yet, as it will include all the expenses borne by the candidates till the time of declaration of the results.
“We will prepare and update the final report on our website once the results are out on 23rd May.
“Before preparing the final report we will verify the expenditure data provided by the candidates.”
In order to keep a hawk eye on the expenses made by the candidates, the Election Commission had deployed expenditure observes across all the constituencies.
For the third and final phase of polling in Assam, the Commission had deployed four expenditure observes.
A total of 74,77,062 electors have registered their names with the Election Commission to take part in the third phase of polling in the state, with Gauhati having 21,78,617 voters.
At the end of the third phase polling, Assam recorded an overall voter turnout of 85.11%, while the Gauhati LS constituency saw a turnout of 80.81%.