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Candidates spent Rs 288 crore on polls!

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
October 16, 2004 16:19 IST
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According to a Congress source in Maharashtra, the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and the Republican Party's 288 candidates spent Rs 144 crore in the election.

According to him, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's credibility and the candidates' political and financial clout were the factors that helped win the game.

"Congress candidates were given around Rs 15 lakh from external sources of the party, but [NCP chief] Sharad Pawar was able to give more financial support to his candidates," he said.

According to him, the top three contenders in each constituency spent around Rs 1 crore, making this election worth Rs 288 crore.

The fact that the state is also very big contributed to so much expense.

The Marathwada region itself stretches more than 500 km from east to west.

The cost of renting vehicles for party workers was the highest, the source said, adding that nowadays no party workers put in their efforts for free.

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi