elections 2009: the tamasha is on

centre for media studies estimates that around rs.10,000 crores would be spent in the next general elections, to be held in april-may 2009. that works out to roughly rs.18 cores per constituency. the central and state governments would be spending around 20% of that, according to cms. the contending aspirants would be spending rs.8,000 crores, roughly, (or rs. 15 crores in each constituency).

on an average, it is safe to assume i think, whoever wins ultimately would've spent at least rs.5-6 crore, say, (in each constituency) in reaching that goal? that assumption is built on the reasonable premise that most of the total expenditure in any constituency would be shared by not more than 2-3 major aspirants (from major, locally, parties). of the rs. 8,000 crores to be spent by the contestants, only around 2,000 crores, at best, would come from big party coffers. the rest, rs. 6,000 crores, would be spent by individual candidates. factoring in the party contributions, one would arrive at this final guesstimate: any candidate who's serious about winning in the next elections would've to invest rs. 4-6 crores, of his own or borrowed resources.

what would be the primary concern of a member of parliament who has invested, say, rs. 4-6 crores in his election?

his pay and allowances wouldn't help him pay back even a fraction of that investment. how significant an obligation would your vote be, in his mind, weighed against such a large investment that has to be recovered, with profit?

lok satta, which has been tracking elections in india for over a decade, and a few other pundits, say rs. 10,000 crores is a conservative estimate- a more realistic figure would range between 15,000-20,000 crores. and i agree with lok satta. in the light of this new estimate, one needs to revise the average expenditure of individual winners again:

what would be the primary concern of a member of parliament who has invested, say, rs. 6-12 crores in his election?

i have a feeling it wouldn't probably be you, dear voter.

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