NEW DELHI: Election expenditure in India has gone up by nearly six times in 20 years (1998-2019) — from Rs 9,000 crore to over Rs 55,000 crore.
A Centre for Media Studies report on poll expenditure released Monday estimated that Rs 700 per vote was spent in the 2019 elections and on an average, nearly Rs 100 crore has been spent per seat this time.
As per the report, the BJP accounts for nearly 45% of the total poll spending in 2019 as against 20% in 1998. The share of the Congress, which incurred 45% of the total expenditure in 2009, was 15-20% this time.
“The 2019 general election emerges to be the most expensive election ever, anywhere. Even more, this election to Lok Sabha will go down as a bitterly fought vicious campaign,” the report said.
Former CEC S Y Quraishi in his forward to the report, wrote, “We cannot expect to see the next election any better than 2019 in terms of freeness, fairness and transparency, if the rising tide of criminalisation of politics and overarching influence of money in politics is not stemmed... While the Commission may be more vigilant and the amount of (cash) seizures may have gone up ...the overarching role of money power is in full display.”