AHMEDABAD: It may appear a tad surprising, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to spend more on his campaign in Vadodara for the Lok Sabha 2014 polls in his home state than in UP’s Varanasi. Modi had filed his nomination from the two constituencies and resigned from Vadodara. Data shows PM Modi had spent Rs 50.04 lakh for his election campaign in Vadodara while he spent only Rs 37.62 lakh for campaigning in Varanasi.

Interestingly, if one compares the number of votes he garnered, then the per capita cost works out to be Rs 5.92 in Vadodara with over 8.45 lakh votes, while in Varanasi Modi got 5.81 lakh votes having spent 55 paise extra than in Vadodara, at Rs 6.50 per capita. Also, Modi did not spend a penny on public meetings as he was the star campaigner in Vadodara, but he spent Rs 35,967 for his public meetings in Varanasi. Interestingly, Modi himself was the top star campaigner for the BJP in 2014 elections. 

The prime ministerial candidate in 2014 spent the highest — 50% of the expense on meeting without any star campaigners. In Vadodara, he has spent Rs 25 lakh on these meeting which are organized by local leaders. Modi in 2014 spend Rs 5.19 lakh on vehicles, while he paid Rs 6.75 lakh for entertaining his campaign workers. However, when it comes to election advertisement in print and electronic media the expense was only Rs 43,250 and only Rs 3.31 lakh was spent on campaign material like hoardings and distributing pamphlets. Sources from Vadodara said that since all the advertisements by BJP party had Modi on them, he did not spend any amount personally. The small amount was only used for advertisement in local papers.

In sharp contrast, according to the detailed expense in the report of Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, in Varanasi Modi spent 25% of his Rs 37.62 lakh that is Rs 9.46 lakh on meeting without star campaigners and Rs 9.41 lakh for election campaign material. This was three times the spending on election campaign material as compared to Vadodara. In Varanasi Modi spent Rs 4.62 lakh for entertaining his campaign workers which was Rs 2 lakh less than his Vadodara expense in this category. Modi in Varanasi spent Rs 5.05 lakh for vehicles. While he spent only Rs 43,250 for campaigning through print and electronic media in Vadodara, he had spent Rs 3.78 lakh for campaigning through print and electronic media in Varanasi.

Former deputy prime minister and Gandhinagar MP L K Advani who spent Rs 34.13 lakh during his election has not spent any money on advertisement in electronic and print media. He has spent the majority of his funds for meeting without any star campaigners. He has spent Rs 11.11 lakh on these meeting which were organized by the local leaders. However, Advani has also spent Rs 3.73 lakh on meetings held for star campaigners. Advani was also in the list of star campaigners. Like Modi Advani also spent Rs 7.14 lakh for entertaining his campaign workers.

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