GULMI, Jan 25: Most of the candidates who contested the parliamentary and provincial elections of December 7 have submitted the details of their election expenses to the District Election Office (DEO), Gulmi following the instruction of the Election Commission (EC) to furnish the details within 35 days of the elections. Surprisingly, the expenses of the losing candidates are comparatively higher than that of the winning candidates.
In Gulmi, there were two constituencies for the parliamentary elections and four for the provincial elections. Altogether 52 candidates had filed their candidacy in the elections which were held simultaneously. As of now, 42 candidates have furnished their election expenditures. As per the details, it has been found that the losing candidates poured more money in the promotional campaigns than the winning candidates.
Sudarshan Baral, a provincial assembly candidate from constituency 1(a) has become the only losing candidate to have spent less money than the winning candidate. Pradip Gyawali and Gokarna Bista who emerged victorious in the parliamentary elections have spent less than their respective opponents Chandra Bhandari and Chandra KC, as per the submitted details.
Among the parliamentary candidates, Nepali Congress (NC) leader Chandra Bhandari has reportedly spent the highest amount of money among all the candidates. As per the details, he spent Rs 2.4 million in the elections. Similarly, his closest rival Pradip Gyawali spent Rs 1.8 million in the campaign.
Likewise, NCs Chandra KC, who lost from Constituency 2 in the federal parliament polls, spent Rs 2.4 million while his closest rival Gokrana Bista secured victory by spending Rs 2.2 million.
As per the ceiling set by the EC, candidates cannot spend more than Rs 2.5 million in their campaign. In the parliamentary elections, Durga Bahadur Sartungi of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) has furnished the lowest expenditure. According to the details provided by the DEO, he spent only Rs 62,800 in the elections.
Furthermore, in provincial elections, all the losing candidates except for Sudarshan Baral of CPN (Maoist Center) have spent comparatively more than the winning candidates. Baral has furnished the expenditure of Rs 1.4 million to the DEO. However, his rivals had spent more than him.
As many as 10 candidates had filed for independent candidacies in Gulmi and none of them have submitted their election expenditures till now. Meanwhile, it has been found that some candidates of local elections too have not submitted the election details. This is because not many are aware about the punishment that they will be subjected to.
"We don't have the right to take action against them and the authority which has the right to do so is turning blind eye to this," said election officer Ganesh Bahadur Khatri.