In the 2019 Lok Sabha and simultaneous Assembly polls in five States, the Congress spent Rs 300 crore more than what it expended in 2014. But while it gained just eight more Lok Sabha seats — which still fell three short of giving it the Leader of Opposition post in the lower house — it lost a whopping 114 Assembly seats that it had won in the last elections.
In 2014, as it spent Rs 516 crore, the Congress’ Lok Sabha seat tally plunged to an all-time low of 44 seats but its performance in State polls in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh saw it winning 146 seats overall.
The grand old party, which was said to be grappling with shortage of funds, managed to spent Rs 820 crore in 2019 for the parliamentary and Assembly polls in five States disbursing Rs 370 crore to its candidates to fight the polls. The Congress has listed out these expenses in its submission to the Election Commission.
The BJP is yet to submit its election expenses to the Election Commission but is expected to lead by a big margin just it has been over the last five-six years.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, several Congress candidates claimed that they did not receive party funds for their election campaigns.
Even senior party leaders admitted that fund crisis had hit them and to overcome the crisis, the Congress had even urged its members to step up contributions even as it called for cutting down on expenses.
The BJP was on the top in the list of receiving funds. As per the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, BJP received the maximum donations of Rs 915.596 crore, which forms 94 per cent of the total donations to the party above Rs 20,000 in FY 2016-17 and 2017-18 while the Congress declared a donation of Rs 55.36 crore from various corporate and business houses, which forms 81 per cent of the total donations during the same period. However, the party could raise Rs 856 crore ahead of the Lok Sabha polls across the poll-bound States.
As per the expenditure details, the Congress spent Rs 488 crore on general expenditure while Rs 370 crore spent on candidates for their campaigning.
The Congress candidates were given funds ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 60 lakh each. The then Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dikshit, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Pawan Kumar Bansal were given Rs 50 lakh each for campaigning during the Lok Sabha polls.
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