The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Thursday revealed that seven national and 16 regional parties collected a total of Rs 1,503.21 crore during the five Assembly elections held in 2017, with the ruling BJP emerging as the highest fund collector at Rs 1,214.46 crore. However, the total expenditure by all national and regional parties on the five assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur in 2017 stood at just Rs 494.36 crore, 56 per cent of which was spent on publicity, including media advertisements.

While the seven national parties, such as the BJP and the Congress, collected the bulk  —  Rs 1,314. 29 crore - and spent Rs 328.66 crore, the maximum amount of Rs 189.46 crore was spent on publicity. The BJP central office collected 98.33% (Rs 1,194.21 crore) of the total funds collected by the party, while its Goa unit collected the second highest amount of Rs 16.77 crore.

“Of the 16 regional parties which contested in the five state assembly elections, AIFB, JKNPP, NPP, PDA, RLSP and RSP have not submitted their election expenditure statements for any of the assembly elections that they contested in. Based on the details provided, the regional parties collected a total of Rs 188.92 crore and incurred an expenditure of Rs 165.7 crore,” the ADR said.

The Congress received Rs 62.09 crore from its state units, followed by Rs 0.61 crore received by the state units of Nationalist Congress Party and Rs 0.465 crore by the Communist Party of india (Marxist). Incidentally , the BSP declared that the party collected no funds at all.

Among the 16 regional parties, Shiv Sena collected the maximum funds of Rs 115.86 crore to contest in Goa, Punjab, UP and Uttarakhand, followed by Aam Aadmi Party, which collected second highest funds worth Rs 37.35 crore for contesting in Goa and Punjab state assembly elections.

When it comes to expenditure by 10 regional parties, Samajwadi Party spent the highest the highest amount of Rs 131.07 crore, which formed 79.1% of the total expenditure of all regional parties. At a distant second was Shiromani Akali Dal, which spent a total of Rs 15.67 crore, followedby AAP, which spent Rs 7.23 crore.

“Among the national parties, BJP collected the maximum funds of Rs 1,214.46 crore which formed 92.4% of the total funds collected by the 7 National Parties at the Central and State levels for the 5 state Assembly elections,” ADR said. 

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