The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has in its poll affidavit confirmed paying money to its allies Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) during the last Lok Sabha polls.
In the expenditure affidavit submitted to the Election Commission of India, it has been mentioned that the party has spent around Rs 79 crore for elections, out of which Rs 40 crores had been donated to its three allies. The CPI has received Rs 15 crore, the CPI(M) Rs 10 crore and Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) another Rs 15 crore. The amount has been transferred to the alliance parties in four Installments through RTGS payment mode. The CPI has received the amount on April 5 and 16, the CPI(M) on April 5, 8 and 9, while the KMDK has received the amount on April 8, says the affidavit.
For its president and star campaigner M K Stalin, the DMK spent Rs 58 lakh as travel expenses. For other leaders in the campaign, the party spent around Rs 35 lakh. According to the affidavit, the DMK spent Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh on each candidate for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly byelections respectively. On media propaganda, the DMK’s expenditure was Rs 15 crore.
During the parliamentary elections, the left parties were part of the DMK-Congress alliance and were allotted the seats of Coimbatore, Madurai, Nagapattinam and Tiruppur where they emerged victoriously. The Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) contested in DMK’s rising sun symbol from Namakkal and clinched victory.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, DMK Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathi said submitting election expenditure to the EC is a usual norm. “We have submitted whatever is on record. The affidavit must be submitted during every election, likewise, we have submitted for this election also, it’s a norm. I don’t know why the opposition is making a big issue out of it. I do not know what our alliance parties have declared in their affidavit,” he said.
CPI(M) Tamil Nadu Secretary Balakrishnan said they have “not suppressed anything”and “have given all our expenditure details to our central committee and they have cross-verified it”.
“People can check our accounts, every transaction is done through banks. If a party gets a donation of more than Rs 2,000 from any of the sources, it has to go through the bank account, how can we hide any such transaction? If you look at the affidavit column, there is the only provision for expenditure and that’s the reason why DMK has mentioned that they have donated Rs 15 crore to us. The EC has put the DMK expenditure on the site, I don’t know why they haven’t uploaded our affidavit still. If they do that, It will put an end to all these speculations.”
Major General Anil Verma (Retd.), the National Coordinator of Association of Democratic Reforms said the DMK’s affidavits for Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2016 also mention payments made to candidates of alliance partners. “We haven’t noticed anything similar in expenditure statements submitted by other parties for Lok Sabha elections so far,” he added.