New Delhi: A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shelled out Rs 217.68 crore for the 2014 Maharashtra and Haryana assembly election campaign. The BJP also became the biggest beneficiary of donations and collected the maximum funds at Rs 296.74 crore.
The ADR report says the total expenditure collectively by all the parties in these two elections were Rs 362.87 crore. Of the total expenditure of Rs 362.87 crore by all the political parties, Rs 280.72 crore (77.36 per cent) was spent on publicity, followed by Rs 41.40 crore on travel expenses.
After BJP, which splurged the most, Congress came in the second place with total expenditure of Rs 63.31 and fund collections with Rs 84.37 crore.
Apart from these two, the other top five spending political parties were: Shiv Sena with Rs 17.94 crore, Bahujan Samaj Party with Rs 6.296 crore. Both Samajwadi Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena spent Rs five crore each.
A total of six national parties and nine regional parties were considered for the analysis in the report. The report was drawn from the audited accounts and contribution statements submitted by different political parties to the Income Tax department and the Election Commission of India.
Interestingly, the ADR report, comes days before the two states go to polls. While the polls in both Haryana and Maharashtra will be held on October 21, the counting of votes will be held on October 24.
Both Maharashtra and Haryana are currently governed by BJP. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP failed to get majority on its own in Maharashtra but emerged as the single-largest party by winning 122 seats of the total 288. Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena came second with 63 seats.
While the term of 288-member Maharashtra assembly ends on November 9, that of the 90-member Haryana assembly expires on November 2.