The Karnataka BJP collected the highest amount of Rs 213.47 crore during the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, accounting for 59.56% of Rs 356.04 crore collected by eight parties.

Of the money collected by BJP's central and state units, the party spent Rs 139.04 crore for the elections, a trend witnessed among other parties too, including Congress, which collected Rs 104.83 crore during the period and spent only Rs 34.49 crore.

Altogether, the eight parties analysed by a private election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), spent Rs 187.25 crore in the elections while the details of ruling JD(S) is not available with the Election Commission.

The CPM collected Rs 17.06 crore of which 92.82% was collected by its central headquarters while it spent Rs 87 lakh during the elections in the state.

Funds collected by parties at its central headquarters was Rs 269.94 crore and expenditure was Rs 112.14 crore. Karnataka state units spent Rs 58.01 crore.

The major spending was on publicity (Rs 129.72 crore) followed by Rs 30.06 crore on travel expenses and Rs 17.84 crore on the amount paid to candidates and Rs 9.63 crore on miscellaneous expenses.

Interestingly, the expenditure statements provided by the parties showed that NCP, AIADMK and Forward Bloc are the only parties that have incurred no expenditure either at the central or at the state unit level despite contesting in the election in Karnataka.

On publicity, BJP incurred the maximum expenditure of Rs 122.68 crore which forms 72.10% of its total expenditure while Congress spent Rs 23.79 crore. The expenditure on publicity included media advertisements, publicity material and organising public meetings.

Among all the parties, the maximum was spent on media advertisements, which was pegged at Rs 106.36 crore followed by Rs 13.81 crore publicity material and Rs 9.54 crore for public meetings.

In the travel expense category, Rs 27.86 crore was spent by parties for their star campaigners while Rs 2.20 crore was spent on others. When it comes to providing candidates money, the parties spent Rs 17.84 crore.

The ADR said it must be made mandatory for all political parties to submit their statements of expenditure in the format given by the Election Commission within the prescribed time limit. Political parties not submitting on time or in the prescribed format should be heavily penalised, it said adding several parties do not file the statement in the prescribed format, it said.

The details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated, it demanded.

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