Tea to elephants: Poll campaign expenses fixed by EC

| | New Delhi
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Tea to elephants: Poll campaign expenses fixed by EC

Saturday, 06 April 2024 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

Tea to elephants: Poll campaign expenses fixed by EC

From fixing the rates for hiring of elephants and horses to campaign, to ascertain the rates of chai, kachoris, samosa besides size of garlands and several campaign related paraphernalia, the Election Commission (EC) has fixed rates for the campaign related items to be used by the contesting candidates and political parties during their election campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The candidates now will have to maintain a record of expenditure among things, on how many samosas, kachoris and cups of tea/coffee a candidate has offered to his/her workers and supporters, and how many garlands of various sizes were put around the netaji’s neck during electioneering.

Interestingly, parties and candidates often offer workers and voters liquor, but the rate list did not mention alcohol.  Interestingly, candidates will have to pay `12 for a cup of tea in Delhi, `10 in Ghaziabad, Noida, Gautambudh Nagar, `15 in Punjab and `5 in Madhya Pradesh.

The rate for a samosa is fixed at `12 in Delhi;  `10 in Noida and Ghaziabad and `15 in Punjab.

In Delhi, the Election Commission has fixed charges of 1,34 items that will be used during the campaign which include `43 for per plate chhole kulche, `49 per plate chhole bhature; `40 per plate puri sabzi;  `12 per samosa, `19 per  kachori, `16 for bread pakoda, `28 for sandwich, `12 per cup (disposal tea), `19 per water bottle (one litre), `15 per piece ladoo and gulab jamun, `118 for vegetable thali at lunch and `119 per thali at dinner.

If candidates want to hire elephants for their campaigning, they will have to pay `6,150 per day; for horses, it will be `3,075, according to the Election Commission.

The commission has also fixed Rs 10 for per chair, Rs 25 for per table, Rs 110 per stage sofa, Rs 60 for desert cooler, Rs 2- per tubelight, Rs 21 per meter ladi light, Rs 7360 for hiring public address system including loudspeaker with amplifier and microphone, cord, Rs two per sticker, Rs 1,107 per videographer, Rs 4,000 for drone per event and Rs 12,000 for bus, Rs 2,460 for hiring a Tata 407.

In Ghaziabad, Vegetarian thali for Rs 100, a samosa or a cup of tea for Rs 10, kachori for Rs 15, a sandwich for Rs 25, and a kilogram of jalebi for Rs 90 is fixed by the poll body. Similarly, a farmhouse will cost Rs 22,000 per day while a marriage lawn will cost Rs 11,000. The administration has set a standard rate for each article of furniture such as chair (Rs 13 per piece), sofa (Rs 80), and bed (Rs 40). Rates have also been set for rose garland (Rs 120), marigold garland (Rs 12), and a bouquet (Rs 180).

Those wishing to rope in the service of a DJ would have to ensure the cost does not exceed Rs 4,200 per day. The administration has also fixed the rate of items such as bucket (Rs 4), plastic glass (Rs 2), tray (Rs 7), and jug (Rs 4).

For advertisement, a steel frame hoarding will cost Rs 29.50 per square feet, a wooden frame hoarding Rs 12.29, and simple hoarding (3x2) Rs 100 per piece. Among electronic items, the rate of one drone camera per 15 minutes has been fixed at Rs 16,000.

Under the refreshment heads, rates of a total of 26 items have been fixed including non-vegetarian thali (Rs 180), puri sabzi (Rs 30 per plate), sandwich (Rs 25) and cashew barfi (Rs 700 per kg).

In terms of vehicles, a Tata safari or a Honda City (including fuel) will cost Rs 3,500 per day.

While the rate for running advertisements in multiplex cinema houses has been fixed at Rs 463 per screen per second per week, the rate of printing advertisements per square centimetre in various newspapers ranges from Rs 21.41 to Rs 291.85.

According to EC, in most States, including Andhra Pradesh, the expenditure ceiling for a Lok Sabha candidate is set at Rs 95 lakh. However, in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim, the limit is slightly lower at Rs 75 lakh per candidate. Similarly, for Union Territories, the expenditure ceiling ranges from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 95 lakh per candidate, depending on the region.

In Chennai, the price of tea has been raised from Rs 10 to Rs 15 and coffee from Rs 15 to Rs 20, while the rate of chicken biryani will cost Rs 150 per packet. North Goa candidates can have batata vada on the menu at a cost of Rs 15, same as that for a samosa. The tea has been capped at Rs 15 while coffee can cost Rs 20.

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