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After votes, BJP trumps Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh poll spending too

The Akhilesh Yadav-led party spent Rs129.87 crore as compared to BJP’s Rs175 crore in the January-March polls,

india Updated: Aug 19, 2017 11:41 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
BJP,Samajwadi Party,Uttar Pradesh polls
The BJP spent more than other parties in the Uttar Pradesh polls. (HT Photos)

It was a keen contest between the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this year’s Uttar Pradesh assembly elections when it came to poll expenditure.

The Akhilesh Yadav-led party spent Rs129.87 crore as compared to BJP’s Rs175 crore in the January-March polls leaving Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party way behind with spending of Rs40.1 crore.

The BJP swept the polls bagging 312 of the total 403 seats while the incumbent Samajwadi Party, which was contesting in alliance with the Congress, could win only 47. The Congress, which won in 7 assemblies, is yet to submit expenditure report to the Election Commission.

It was a big leap for the Samajwadi Party (SP) as it had spent only Rs20.6 crore in 2012 assembly polls. The BJP also doubled its poll spending in 2017.

BJP national spokesperson Shaina NC said, “Uttar Pradesh was the largest of the five states and so the expenditure there was more. It is not that Uttar Pradesh was a priority or a prestige issue for the BJP. You have to put it in perspective of the population, the number of constituencies and the land mass of the state.”

SP state spokesperson and former UP minister Rajendra Chaudhary said, “Our expenditure was appropriate and justified given the length and breadth of the state. We gave details to EC. But BJP’s Rs175 crore is understated. They spent far more than this. In fact, manifold.”

The elections were held after demonetisation of Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes with new Rs2,000 and Rs500 notes aimed at flushing out black money. While then SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had demanded roll-back of the note ban, BSP supremo Mayawati had termed demonetisation was anti-poor and Dalits.

Although the total expenditure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the hotly-contested elections to five states was Rs218.25 crore, over 80% of it was for canvassing in UP polls.

The party incurred an expenditure of Rs23.47 in Uttarakhand, Rs7.86 crore in Manipur, followed by Rs7.43 crore in Punjab and Rs4.37 crore in Goa. Except Punjab, where the Congress won, the BJP formed government in other states.

In Uttarakhand, it won 57 of the 70 seats but was able to dislodge the Congress that emerged as the majority party in Goa and Manipur. The BJP staked claim with the help of fringe parties.

(With inputs from Lucknow)

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 00:14 IST