New Delhi: BJP and Congress spent over Rs 714 crore and Rs 516 crore respectively in 2014 general elections and recent Assembly polls in various states. According to latest data of Election Commission (EC), both the national parties' expenditure in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and Assembly election in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim is way ahead of the spendings by recognised national parties like NCP (over Rs 51 crore) and BSP (more than Rs 30 crore).
While the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) spent a total of Rs 7,14,28,57,813, the Congress shelled out Rs 5,16,02,36,785. Both the parties have recently submitted their expenditure statements to the EC, well beyond the stipulated deadline of August 2014.
The EC, in November last, had issued showcause notices to both the national parties and few other regional parties in this regard.
EC records state that while the BJP filed its statement on January 12 this year, the Congress submitted the same to the poll-panel on December 22, 2014. The data pertains to six recognised national political parties of BJP, Congress, BSP, CPI, CPI (M) and the NCP.
The NCP spent over Rs 51 crore while BSP stated that it spent over Rs 30 crore for the same polls exercise in 2014r. According to the data, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spent a total of Rs 51,34,44,854 in these polls followed by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with an expenditure of Rs 30,05,84,822. CPI (Marxist) incurred an expenditure of Rs 18,69,18,169.
The EC has not shared the expenditure made in this regard by CPI even though it said that the party had submitted the relevant information to it on September 15, 2014. EC had on November 28 issued showcause notices to 20 political parties, including Congress, BJP and Aam Aadmi Party, for failing to file their poll expenditure statements for these elections within the stipulated timeframe. EC had also warned these parties that it would withdraw their recognition if the statements were not filed and sent to it within the next fortnight.
As per rules, political parties are required to file their election expenditure statements within 75 days of Assembly elections while the deadline in case of Lok Sabha polls is 90 days.