New Delhi: At least 11 political parties collected Rs 367.8 crore for the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections held last year, out of which Rs 135 crore was spent on the polls, a report said Friday.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in its report said that for the September-October 2019 Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra, 11 political parties have collected Rs 367.8 crore and spent Rs 135.72 crore.
It said that Rs 266.70 crore out of Rs 367.8 crore was collected at the central party office and Rs 31.31 crore was spent. The report pointed out that Maharashtra state units of these political parties spent Rs 82.65 crore and Haryana state units spent Rs 21.75 crore.
The report also pointed out that Congress, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) expenditure statements for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls are still not available with the Election Commission site.
While expenditure details of IUML and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls are also not available with the Commission website. The report said that it took into consideration six national parties and nine regional parties in its report.
The report said that the political parties need to submit their statements of funds collected and expenditure between announcement and completion of elections from three weeks till three months based on the notification issued by poll panel.
The report further said, “AIFB is the only party that declared no funds were collected either at the central level or state level despite contesting elections while the AIFB and Janata Dal-United are the only parties that have incurred no expenditure either at the central or state level despite contesting elections.”
The ADR report also highlighted that the political parties that contested in Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls spent the highest amount of Rs 73.9 crore on publicity followed by Rs 35.61 crore on travel expenses, Rs 29.80 crore paid to candidates, Rs 26.66 crore on other miscellaneous expenses and Rs 0.341 crore on expenditure incurred on publishing criminal antecedents of the candidates.
“Expenditure on publicity was 44.43 per cent of the overall expenditure declared under various heads and 16.03 per cent on expenditure on other miscellaneous,” the report said.
“Political parties contesting in Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls spent Rs 58.66 crore on media advertisements, Rs 10.40 crore on publicity materials and Rs 4.83 crore on public meetings,” the ADR report said.
Publicity expenditure from Maharashtra state units of parties were the highest as an amount of Rs 60.80 crore was spent on publicity which was only Rs 8.06 crore in Haryana.
Similarly, political parties have spent 99.76 per cent of their total travel expenses or Rs 35.525 crore on their star campaigners and the remaining 0.24 per cent or Rs 8.50 lakh on travel of their party leaders, the report said.
The ADR in its observation in the report said that the election expenditure statements of Congress, NCP, IUML, JDS, SHS and RLD are not available in the public domain despite contesting elections, with a total delay of more than 300 days.
“This is in violation of the Supreme Court’s judgment dated April 4, 1996, directing the Election Commission to create a format for the recognized parties to submit their statements,” the ADR said.