Political parties in India collected as much as Rs 2,107 crore in cash during the 71 state Assembly elections held from 2004 to 2015. This accounts for 63% of the funds collected by various political parties during this period, of which funds collected through cheque payments amounted to Rs 1,244.86 crore, according to a survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms.
The Samajwadi Party outdid others in terms of the amount collected (Rs 186.8 crore) and expenditure incurred (Rs 96.54 crore) during these state polls. The Aam Aadmi Party, which has only contested two Assembly elections so far, ranked second, having collected Rs 38.54 crore as total funds and spent Rs 22.66 crore.
Parties collected 44% of the total funds in cash during the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014, the ADR study found. While the total cash collected came to Rs 1,039 crore, cheque payments made up 55% (nearly Rs 1,300 crore) of the collective amount. The ADR report added that SP, AAP, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Biju Janata Dal, Shiromani Akali Dal together amassed 62% of the Rs 267.14 crore declared by regional parties, during the last three Lok Sabha elections.
ADR based the analysis on statements, which contained details of funds collected and spent, submitted by national and regional parties to the Election Commission of India. It was also found that 83% of spending (Rs 2044.67 crore) was through cheque payments during the Lok Sabha polls, while cheque payments accounted for 65% during the state Assembly polls.