The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spent more than ₹340 crore on its campaigns for the Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab Assembly elections earlier this year, with the majority of the spending being done in Uttar Pradesh, according to the party’s election expenditure report.
At the same time, the Congress spent ₹194 crore on the five Assembly election campaigns, according to its own expenditure report submitted to the Election Commission (EC).
The EC published both parties’ election expenditure reports on Tuesday night. The BJP’s spending report, which was filed by the party on August 20, showed that the party spent ₹221.31 crore in U.P., ₹23.51 crore in Manipur, ₹43.67 crore in Uttarakhand, ₹36.69 crore in Punjab and ₹19.06 crore in Goa on general party propaganda and funds given to candidates. In total, the BJP spent ₹11.97 crore on virtual campaigning, which has seen an increase during the COVID-10 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Congress in its election expenditure report filed on July 11 declared total spending of ₹194.80 crore, of which ₹102.65 crore was on general party propaganda and ₹90.23 crore was given to candidates across the States. The party spent ₹15.67 crore in virtual campaigns using social media etc in the five States.
The five Assembly elections were held in February and March this year, with the results announced on March 10. The BJP swept four of the five States, while the Aam Aadmi Party won in Punjab.
The Election Commission had increased the spending limit for candidates in January this year, to ₹75 lakh from ₹54 lakh and ₹95 lakh from ₹70 lakh for Lok Sabha candidates, depending on the State, and from ₹20 lakh to ₹28 lakh and ₹28 lakh to ₹40 lakh for Assembly polls.