A report by think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has claimed that Political parties spent far more money than they collected during assembly elections in five states in 2016. As per the report, they spent more than Rs 573 crore although they had raised only Rs 355 crore.
The figures are cumulative for national and regional parties put together during the polls to the assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
"Total funds collected by the national parties during the five state assembly elections held in 2016 was Rs 287.89 crore and total expenditure incurred was Rs 188.12 crore," said the report.
Regional parties collected a total of Rs 67.22 crore and incurred an expenditure of Rs 213.97 crore, it added. "Many political parties, while declaring their election expenditure in cash/cheque, have not included the expenditure incurred by them on their candidates.
Hence, the difference in the total expenditure by the parties in cash/cheque (Rs 402.09crore) and that under various heads (Rs 573.24 crore)," it said. National and regional parties spent a total of Rs 573.24crore during assembly elections 2016, including on publicity to candidates, travel expenses, other expenses and lump sum to candidates.
Among the national parties, BJP collected the maximum funds of Rs 131.72 crore which formed 45.75 per cent of the total funds collected by the 6 national parties at the central and state levels for the five state assembly elections, the report by ADR said.
Out of total expenditure of Rs 112.14 crore, BJP incurred maximum expenditure of Rs 84.36 crore at the central level. At the state level, maximum expenditure was incurred by Kerala state unit (Rs 14.11 crore) followed by West Bengal (Rs 5.70 crore) and Assam (Rs 4.03 crore).
Congress spent the second highest amount of Rs 41.49crore, of which Rs 14.57 crore or 35.12 per cent of the total expenditure was at the central level and second highest at the West Bengal state unit (Rs 10.63 crore), followed by Assam state unit (Rs 10.02 crore), an analysis by ADR showed.
Among the regional parties, SP collected the maximum funds of Rs 35.66 crore. DMK spent the highest amount of Rs97.34 crore, followed by AIADMK Rs 64.72 crore.
Funds from the central office of BJP formed 65.53 percent of the total funds collected by the party at the central and state levels. The central headquarters collected a total of Rs 86.31 crore and the second highest amount of Rs 41.88 crore was collected by the West Bengal state unit of BJP, it said. Congress came in second as it collected Rs 94.23 crore.
CPM's Kerala and West Bengal state units collected more than the central headquarters. While Kerala state unit collected Rs 28.79 crore (55.49 per cent of total funds collected by the party), West Bengal state unit collected Rs 17.54 crore (33.81 per cent of total funds collected by the party). BSP declared that the party collected no funds at the central or state levels for the five state assembly elections.
National parties spent a total of Rs 137.46 crore on publicity, while regional parties declared a total of Rs119.33 crore under the same head, ADR said.
While the national parties spent Rs 51.04 crore on travel expenses, regional parties incurred Rs 23.46 crore. National parties declared giving Rs 151.65 crore to their candidates for election expenditure, while regional parties spent only Rs 60.89 crore on their candidates.
As per the ADR report, national parties spent the maximum under media advertisement (Rs 82.08 crore), while regional parties declared spending more than the national parties in the same category (Rs 95.49 crore).
It further said that national parties declared spending Rs 30.68 crore and Rs 24.7 crore on publicity materials and public meetings respectively, while regional parties spent Rs 13.64 crore and Rs 10.2 crore under the respective heads.
National parties spent 93.12 percent of their total travel expenses or Rs 47.52 crore on their star campaigners and only 6.89 per cent or Rs 3.52 crore on travel of their party leaders.
Regional parties spent 54.52 percent of their total travel expenses or Rs 12.79 crore on their star campaigners and the remaining 45.48 per cent or Rs 10.67 crore on travel of their party leaders, it said.
National and regional parties collected a total of Rs 190.23 crore at the central level, in cash and by cheque. The most preferred mode of collection was by cheque where parties collected Rs 197.32 crore which formed 55.57 per cent of the total funds collected at the state and central levels.
With PTI inputs