BJP’s expenses for 2014 polls more than five other national parties together

Over the last 10 years, the declared expenditure by political parties for the Lok Sabha elections grew over 400 per cent, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms. Spending on publicity is driving most of the increased expenditure, data analysis shows.

By law, the six national political parties must submit a statement of election expenditures to the Election Commission within 90 days of the completion of the election. This is supposed to include all funds collected and spent by them in cash, cheque or through other means between the date of the announcement of the election and the date of completion of the election, which ranges from 30 to 90 days.

Although the official deadline expired on August 13 for the 16th Lok Sabha elections, the Congress submitted its expenses on December 22 and the BJP on January 12, 2015.

According to these statements, the national parties collected Rs. 1,159 crore during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as compared to Rs. 224 crore in 2004 and Rs. 855 crore in 2009.

Both the Congress and the BJP claimed that funds collected in cash declined between 2009 and 2014, while the cheque component grew to 69 per cent for the Congress and 61 per cent for the BJP.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) declared no cash donations in its 2014 Lok Sabha filings.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat raised the maximum funds.

Spending grew faster than the rate of increase in the collection of funds, as parties can spend on the Lok Sabha elections from funds collected before the announcement of the election as well.

The BJP spent Rs. 712 crore on the 2014 polls, far more than the other five national parties put together.

The Congress declared spending of Rs. 486 crore, which included its expenditure on the four State elections that ran alongside the Parliamentary election.

For both the Congress and the BJP, publicity costs accounted for the rise in declared expenses.

It now accounts for over a third of both parties’ expenses, far exceeding travel, or spending on candidates.