In one of India’s most expensive general elections, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) spent nearly ₹27000 crores, claimed a report released by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) on Monday.
It is about 45 % of the total expenditure, said the report. As per the report, in total ₹60,000 crore were spent in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“The BJP spent about 20% in 1998 against about 45% in 2019 out of the total poll expenditure estimate, taking it from 9,000 crore in 1998 to ₹55,000 crore. In 2009, the Congress’s share was 40% of total expenditure, against 15 to 20% in 2019,” the report stated.
As per the report, on an average nearly ₹100 crores per Lok Sabha constituency has been spent in this election.
According to the report, around ₹12,000-15000 crore was distributed to the voters directly, ₹20,000- 25,000 crore was spent on publicity, ₹5,000-6,000 crore on logistics, ₹10,000-12,000 crore on formal expenditure and ₹3,000-6,000 crore was spent for miscellaneous purposes.
The scale of expenditure should “scare us” opines the report.
“The scale of the expenditure should scare us and compel us to think of taking corrective steps to build a stronger democracy,” said CMS’s chairman N Bhaskara Rao.
Highlighting that the more the expenditure, the “more vicious and uglier” the campaigns become, reports suggests that the amount spent by the Election Commission is nearly 15-20 % of the total amount.
“It is high time the Parliament deliberate on poll expenditure for campaigns, and about election funding, preceded by serious national discussions,” reads the report.