The Times of India
New Delhi

Political parties spent nearly Rs 1.75 crore every day on choppers, advertisements, hoardings and other expenses in the 2008elections in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram. In all, five national political parties and one regional party spent Rs 136 crore in 79 days leading up to the polls.

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analyzed data provided to the Election Commission (EC) by Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, BSP and National Conference of J&K. While BJPdid not spend any money on publicity or travel during these elections, the Congress declared an expenditure of Rs.102.56 crore.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is the only national party which did not submit its expenditure details. The National Conference of Jammu & Kashmir was the only regional party to submit its expenditure that came to Rs.1.36 crore.

Political parties are required to submit a statement of expenditure to the Election Commission within 75 days of the end of assembly elections. The money was spent on travel (choppers and care), publicity, advertisements, on candidates among other things.

The ADR statement said the total funds collected by the national parties during the 2008 elections were Rs182.12 crore. While funds were mostly collected in cash, it was disbursed in cheque or demand draft.

The Congress received 93.43% of the Rs 81.92 crore received by it in cash while the BJP got 85.60% of the Rs 14.44 crore it collected in cash. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) received all its funds in cash amounting to Rs 76.20 crore.

ADR has demanded more transparency in the finances of the political parties especially during elections "when it is said that black money plays a major role".

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