Overall spending in the current general elections is projected to be around Rs 30,000 crore, which would be triple the amount spent in the 2009 polls.
This poll spend (according to a Centre for Media Studies estimate) is more than what India spends for annually for primary schooling.
Electorally, it is second only to the Rs 42,000 cr ($7bn) spent during the 2012 US presidential race - the world's most expensive.
Amid all this spending, accounted for or otherwise, conducting the world's largest exercise in democracy also involves huge official expenditure.
A day before phase six of the staggered elections are held, here's a look at the cost of general elections via the Election Commission.
From Rs 948 crore in 1999, the expenditure went up to Rs 1,114 crore in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, according to data released by the ministry of statistics & programme implementation.
The election expenditure was up 9.6% to Rs 1,114 crore for the 2009 polls from Rs 1,016 crore for the 2004 elections.
IndiaSpend takes a look at the state-wise details of the 2009 general elections. Since most big states have a large number of seats, this involves greater preparation for the elections. Also states such as Assam feature among the top 5 due to insurgency in the region, leading to heightening security and raising the cost of election in the state.
Maharashtra topped the list during the last election with a total expense of Rs 155 crore followed by West Bengal (Rs 150 crore) and Assam (Rs 97 crore). In fact, the total expenditure incurred by the top five states comprised 50% of the total election expenditure.
The map below shows the state-wise election expenditure for election 2009.
(article by Prachi Salve and Sanjit Oberai.)