New Delhi: As political leaders look for ways to woo their supporters in order to gain maximum votes, they also spend the big bucks making India’s Elections one of the most expensive ones. If reports are to be believed, spending by political parties and their candidates to attract 900 million voters for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections crossed nearly 600 billion rupees. Notably, the amount is more than twice of what was spent during the 2014 elections, a Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies reported.
After conducting field studies and analysis the report made an estimation that a candidate spent nearly 700 rupees per voter.
Meanwhile, some constituencies which had almost three million voters demanded more expenditure for publicity and logistics as compared to other smaller ones. It also includes distribution of cash for votes, reports claimed. The Election Commission prescribes a seven million-rupee ceiling on spending by a candidate.
Analysts have concluded that India’s elections account for a major portion of the nationwide corruption. At this rate, expenditure in the next 2024 general election could cross one trillion rupees, N Bhaskara Rao, chairman of CMS, told Bloomberg. “Mother of all corruption lies in the spiralling election expenditure. If we are not able to address this, we can’t check corruption in India,” he added.
Meanwhile, corruption in elections is not just a national problem as, according to OpenSecrets.org, about $6.5 billion was spent in the presidential and congressional races during the U.S. Elections in 2016.