Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018: 196 candidates spent INR 1061 cr.
Kohima, Dec. 17 (EMN): During the 2018 Nagaland assembly elections held on Feb. 27, the total amount of money spent by the 196 candidates was a whopping INR 10610925000 (one thousand and sixty one crore, nine lakh and twenty five thousand), according to a post-election watch report released by the YouthNet on Monday.
On average, each candidate spent INR 54137372 (five crore forty-one lakh thirty seven thousand three hundred and seventy two). “While our neighbouring state Mizoram during 2018 state assembly elections complained to the Election Commission to reduce the fixed poll expenditure, the voters in Nagaland have turned completely blind,” it observed.
The founder of YouthNet Hekani Jakhalu told a press conference in Kohima on Monday that though the numbers presented in the report were not accurate, they represent “an average number.” The report concerns ‘cash-expenditure’ only.
“From spending the approximate total of INR 5699600000 (five hundred and sixty nine crore and ninety six lakh) in 2008 elections to INR 9378267500 (nine hundred and thirty seven crore, eighty lakh, sixty seven thousand and five hundred) in the 2013 elections and the further increase of spending to INR 10610925000 in 2018 is an alarming call to all the people with conscience, especially the educated youths of today,” the report read.
Lowest spending candidates
The lowest-spending candidate, according to the report, was from Zunheboto district who spent an average of INR 45,000; followed by a candidate from Kohima district with an average expenditure of INR. 2,80,000. The third lowest-spending candidate from Mokokchung district spent an average INR 5,00,000; and the fourth and fifth lowest-spending candidates from Wokha district spent an average of INR 7,50,000 each.
Highest spending candidates
The top three highest-spending candidates were from Zunheboto district, Mokokchung district and Dimapur district who respectively spent an average of INR 300000000 (thirty crore), INR 270000000 (twenty seven crore), and INR 230000000 (twenty three crore).
Average money spent per voter and per household
The research showed that the highest average of amount spent per household was INR 75,000. The overall average money spent per vote in Nagaland was between INR 5,000-10,000.
Table on approx. Amount spent per elector given below
The report showed that the Naga People’s Front topped the chart in money spent during the 2018 assembly elections with an average of INR 373,90,00,000 by 58 candidates. This was followed by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party with an average of INR 267,20,00,000 by 40 candidates.
Table for Party wise breakup
According to the report, Zunheboto district was the highest-spending district with an average of INR 236,20,45,000, followed by Mokokchung district with INR 191,90,00,000. Dimapur was listed third with an average expenditure of 132,80,00,000. The report also featured Peren district as the least-spending district with an average of INR 30,85,00,000.
Table on district wise expenditure spent
As Jakhalu bluntly put at the press conference: “When the state (sic) has spent one thousand plus crore during 2018 election, what type of development are we expecting?”
Citing the ‘disturbing figures,’ she admitted that the clean election campaign across the state prior to the elections had failed to achieve its goal this time. Jakhalu however was positive that the message of clean election would be relayed to every citizens of the state.
“The campaign is a process and it cannot happen in a day. Many people have been really fighting for this one. We are praying that it (report) will prick their (citizens) conscience,” Jekhalu said.
Member of YouthNet’s governing council, Joshua Sheqi raised concern over the “unethical practises of corruption” in the state. He said: “Nagaland proudly declares itself as Christian state. How worthy are we today declaring ourselves as Christian state, it’s worse than a pagan (sic) state.”
He said that ‘people became ignorant of the clean election campaign just before one and half month’ to the elections.