In the 2014 Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls, 15 political parties had a total election expenditure of around Rs 357 crore. A large share of this was for advertising

During the 2014 Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spent around four times more for campaigning, than the Indian National Congress. This is according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report comes days ahead of the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Both states will head for polling on October 21. Counting of votes will happen on October 24.

While the BJP spent Rs 217.8 crore in the two campaigns, Congress spent Rs 55.2 crore. BJP was the challenger and Congress incumbent in both states.

Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had spent Rs 41 crore. Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena’s Rs 17.9 crore. In 2014, Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena and the NCP had fought all alone.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), which have marginal presence in both states, had spent Rs 6.2 crore and Rs 4.9 crore, respectively.

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) reported a total expenditure of Rs 4.9 crore. Haryana’s key regional party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), had spent Rs 3.9 crore.

Large share of expenditure on advertising

Total funding collected by 15 political parties during the two state elections that were held almost simultaneously, was Rs 464.5 crore.

The total expenditure incurred by these 15 parties was Rs 357.2 crore.

Out of the total expenditure, Rs 280.7 crore was spent on publicity. This included money spent on advertising in newspapers, television and other mediums, publicity material and rallies. Almost 87 percent of the expenditure on publicity was made on media advertising.

Around Rs 41 crore were spent on travel. About Rs 22 crore worth of expenditure has been categorised as “other” or “miscellaneous expenses”. The lump sum amount paid to candidates was Rs 18.1 crore.

BJP received significantly more funds

The Narendra Modi-led party received a funding of Rs 296.7 crore during the period. This figure is significantly higher than that of the second-largest recipient – Congress with Rs 84.3 crore.

NCP and Shiv Sena got funding of Rs 38.1 crore and Rs 16.3 crore, respectively. INLD received Rs 6.6 crore in funding.

Also read: Congress infighting, Khattar's performance and Jat votes – All you need to know about the 2019 Haryana Assembly polls

The report adds that the Janata Dal United (JDU), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) declared no expenditure in the two campaigns despite having contested these elections. The three parties and the BSP declared that it had not collected any funds for the two campaigns.

According to law, political parties are mandated to submit details of poll expenditure to the Election Commission of India (EC) within 75 days of the Assembly election’s completion. The ADR report analysed these details submitted by six national parties and nine regional parties.

The details include the total funds received in all forms cash, cheques, demand drafts, etc.), and the total money spent on publicity, travel, expenditure towards candidates, among others.

These details also include the total funding received and spent between the announcement of election dates and completion of the election.

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