New Delhi

During its first stint as a political party in 2013, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) collected and spent the highest amount in the elections to the Delhi Assembly held in 2013, according to declarations made to the Election Commission (EC).

Of the total ₹2,272.91 lakh of funds collected and declared by all national and regional parties that contested in the 2013 Delhi Assembly Elections, a good 91 per cent were collected by AAP at ₹2,075.36 lakh. Incidentally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has declared a total fund collection of only ₹27.7 lakh (1.22 per cent of total funds) in 2013.

As far as expenditure is concerned, of the total ₹1,501.71 lakh spent by all national and regional parties, AAP declared spending ₹905.14 lakh, while BJP declared a total expenditure of ₹315.28 lakh (20.99 per cent of total expenditure), says an analysis of the declarations by AAP and BJP by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit election watchdog.

Incidentally, the EC received AAP’s expenditure declaration for the 2013 Assembly elections only on April 6, 2015, as it was an unrecognised party at that time and it was not mandatory for it to submit its expenditure statement.

AAP declared that of the total ₹2,075.36 lakh collected, 96.57 per cent, or ₹2,004.26 lakh were through cheques, while the cash component stood at ₹67.75 lakh and ₹3.35 lakh was collected in kind. BJP, however, declared that of the total ₹27.7 lakh it collected, 76.17 per cent or ₹21.1 lakh was collected by cash, while 23.83 per cent or ₹6.60 lakh was by cheque/demand draft.

In an election which saw both these parties visible all over the media, AAP said it spent ₹484.19 lakh on media advertisements (67 per cent of total expenditure on publicity) followed by ₹220.42 lakh on publicity material and ₹22.29 lakh on public meetings. BJP, on the other side, declared spending only ₹117.56 lakh on public meetings, ₹84.41 lakh on media advertisements and ₹61.18 lakh on publicity materials.

Calling for a limit on election expenditure by political parties, ADR said details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for election campaigns must be declared in the public domain, irrespective of the amount donated.

Also, wherever possible, expenditure must be limited to transactions via cheque/demand draft to reduce use of black money in elections, it said, adding there must also be observers for monitoring the expenditure of political parties.

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