Poll expenditure of 8 parties that contested Bihar polls not available in public domain: ADR

The election expenditure statements of eight parties, including the CPI, LJP, RJD and the RLD, are not available in the public domain despite contesting the Bihar assembly polls, with a total delay of more than 128 days, according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Political parties are required to submit a statement of election expenditure to the Election Commission of India (ECI) within 75 days of completion of assembly elections.

The expenditure statement contains details of the total amount received as funds in the form of cash, cheques and demand drafts and the total amount spent under various heads.

According to the report, total funds collected by nine political parties during the Bihar assembly election held in 2020 was Rs 185.14 crore and the total expenditure incurred was Rs 81.86 crore.

Six national parties and 11 regional parties have been considered in this report. However, the expenditure statements of only nine political parties are available for analysis on the Election Commission’s website.

“The complete election expenditure statements of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Janata Dal (Secular), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and National People’s Party (NPP) are not available in the public domain despite contesting elections, with a total delay of more than 128 days,” the report said.

Moreover, seven political parties — All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Janata Dal (United), Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party delayed the submission of their election expenditure statements for the 2020 Bihar polls, the report said.

“The NCP and the AIFB declared no expenditure incurred despite contesting elections,” the report said.

In the 2020 Bihar election, parties spent the highest on amounts paid to candidates, Rs 46.5933 crore or 35.827 per cent of the total, followed by Rs 37.324 crore or 28.70 per cent of the total on travel and Rs 36.73 crore or 28.243 per cent of the total expenditure on publicity, it said.

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