New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spent Rs 252 crore in the Assembly elections held in Assam, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala earlier this year with almost 60% used for campaigning in the Trinamool Congress-ruled state.
According to the Election Expenditure Statement submitted to the poll panel, of the Rs 252,02,71,753 spent by BJP, Rs 43.81 crore was for Assam polls and Rs 4.79 crore for the Puducherry Assembly election.
In Tamil Nadu, where the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) snatched power from its arch-rival AIADMK, the BJP, which got just 2.6% of the votes, spent Rs 22.97 crore in its campaign.
The BJP pushed full throttle in its campaign against the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, spending Rs 151 crore in the state.
In Kerala, where the incumbent Left Democratic Front retained power, the BJP spent Rs 29.24 crore.
The election expenditure statements submitted by the political parties to the Election Commission have been put in the public domain by the poll panel.
According to an expenditure statement submitted by the Trinamool Congress earlier, it spent Rs 154.28 crore for its campaign in the West Bengal Assembly election, marginally more than its main challenger BJP.
Regional Parties got Rs 445.77 crore from unknown sources in 2019-20
Regional parties collected Rs 445.774 crore from unknown sources in 2019-20 which is 55.50% of their total income, poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a new report.
The ADR report said 95.616% or Rs 426.233 crore of this came from electoral bonds, and regional parties collected Rs 4.976 crore from voluntary contributions.
"An analysis of their Income Tax Returns and donations statements filed with the Election Commission of India (ECI) shows that the sources remain largely unknown. At present, political parties are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000. As a result, a substantial amount of funds cannot be traced and are from 'unknown' sources," it said.
The contribution reports of the Aam Aadmi Party, Indian Union Muslim League and the Lok Janshakti Party are available on the website, but the parties' donations data shows discrepancies as declared in their annual audit report and contribution report (donations above Rs 20,000) for FY 2019-20, the ADR said.
The amount of total contributions declared by the AAP, IUML and the LJP in their audit reports is less than the amount of total donations (above Rs 20,000 only) declared in their contribution reports by Rs 6.105 crore, Rs 31.20 lakhs and Rs 4.16 lakhs, respectively, the report said.
Some of the top regional parties to declare highest unknown income include the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (Rs 89.158 crore), Telugu Desam Party (Rs 81.694 crore), YSR-Congress (Rs 74.75 crore), Biju Janata Dal (Rs 50.586 crore) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhgham (Rs 45.50 crore).
The ADR said the total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from contribution report submitted by parties to the Election Commission) is Rs 184.623 crore, which is 22.98% of the total income of these parties.