Patna: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United JD(U), which has contested 53 assembly elections in the country between 2004 and 2015, incurred an expenditure of about Rs 25 crore in the electoral exercises, while its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) spent a little over Rs 5 crore in the 32-odd Vidhan Sabha polls it fought during the same period.

According to a report, "Analysis of funds collected and expenditure incurred by political parties during elections in 11 years - 2004 to 2015", released by ADR-National Election Watch on Monday, both parties spent more than the total funds collected during the election period.

In fact, JD(U)'s poll expenditure was almost thrice the amount it collected from various sources. While the total fund accrued by the JD(U) during the assembly polls between 2004 and 2015 was Rs 8.86 crore, its expense summed up to Rs 24.79 crore. The report suggests that the party is yet to make a payment of Rs 4.86 crore (included in its expenses).

Even during the three Lok Sabha polls held between January 2004 and December 2015, the JD(U) collected funds to the tune of Rs 7.79 crore, but its expenditure stood at Rs 10.30 crore. The party at present has two parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha and 71 legislators in Bihar Vidhan Sabha.Political parties are required to submit a statement of election expenditure to the Election Commission of India within 75 days of assembly elections and 90 days of completion of Lok Sabha polls.

While RJD's assembly election expenditure between 2004 and 2011 was Rs 5.03 crore, higher than its collected funds of Rs 3.97 crore in the last three parliamentary elections, its expenditure at Rs 3.54 crore was less than the Rs 5.60 crore funds it collected during the period.Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) contested 41 assembly polls during the period and incurred an expenditure of Rs 1.48 crore against the total Rs 2.24 crore collected by the party. During the last two Lok Sabha polls, LJP collected and spent Rs 2.3 crore.

The ADR report states that there were a total of 71 assembly elections held across India between January 2004 and December 2015, in which 152 political parties collected funds of about Rs 3,368.06 crore, but spent only Rs 2,727 crore. To put the figures in perspective, the expenses incurred in 2004, 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls totalled at Rs 2,466.07 crore as against funds of Rs 2,355.35 crore collected during the period.

he top five regional parties, which collected maximum funds and incurred maximum expenditure during assembly elections held between 2004 and 2015 were Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Shiv Sena and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC). While SP collected Rs 186.8 crore and spent Rs 96.54 crore, AAP collected Rs 38.54 and spent Rs 22.66 crore.

The ADR observed that a number of parties had spent more than the total funds collected during the election period. It also recommended that it must be made mandatory for all political parties to submit their statements of expenditure, including the details of their donors, in the format given by the ECI, within the prescribed time limit, failing which they should be heavily penalised.

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