Political parties collect Rs 15 billion in five state Assembly elections

Political parties collected over Rs 15 billion during the five state Assembly elections held last year but spent only Rs 4.94 billion, according to an analysis by think tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The figures are cumulative for five national and 16 regional parties put together during the polls to the Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

“Total funds collected by the national parties during the five state Assembly elections held in 2017 were Rs 13.14 billion and total expenditure incurred by the national parties was Rs 3.28 billion,” a report by ADR said.

Among the national parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mobilised the maximum fund of Rs 12.14 billion, which formed 92.4 per cent of the total funds collected at the central and state levels for the state Assembly elections, the report said.

The central headquarters collected Rs 11.94 billion and BJP’s Goa unit collected the second highest amount of about Rs 170 million among various state units.
On the other hand, 16 regional parties collected about Rs 1.89 billion and shelled out Rs 1.66 billion.

Six regional parties have not submitted their election expenditure statements for any of the Assembly elections that these contested in.
The report is based on the election expenditure statements submitted by political parties to the Election Commission of India.

Political parties received funds in the form of cash, cheques and demand drafts. They declare their expenditure under the heads of publicity, travel expenses, other/miscellaneous expenses and lumpsum amount paid to their contesting candidates.

The national parties spent a total of Rs 1.89 billion on publicity while the regional parties declared about Rs 1.11 billion under the same head, ADR said.
Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are the three national parties whose state units have collected more funds than their central headquarters.

INC has received Rs 62.09 crore from its state units, followed by Rs 0.61 crore received by state units of NCP and Rs 0.46 crore by CPM. Incidentally, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) declared that the party collected no funds at all.

Among the regional parties, Shiv Sena collected the maximum funds of about Rs 116 crore to contest in Goa, Punjab, UP and Uttarakhand assembly elections. This was followed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that received Rs 37.35 crore while contesting in Goa and Punjab.
"Despite contesting in 3 assembly elections (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand), Shiv Sena declared that the party incurred no expenditure towards their election campaign in the states," the report noted. 

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