Data | How election fund was spent during 2021 State polls


The AIADMK spent the highest share in spreading the party’s propaganda (99.5%) and relied only on media and advertisements

The DMK and the Trinamool Congress (AITC), both winners of State elections in 2021, spent over Rs. 265 crore during their election campaigns, according to the reports submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI). Among all parties, the AIADMK spent the highest share in spreading the party’s propaganda (99.5%) and relied only on media and advertisements. The DMK and the AITC, on the other hand, split their expenses half-and-half between its candidates and party propaganda. Interestingly, the INC adopted a unique spending strategy for spreading the party’s propaganda in each of the five elections.

Spending spree

The chart depicts the expenditure incurred by major parties against the spending per contested seat in 2021. The AITC and the DMK, spent the highest amount. The two parties spent over 50 lakh on each Assembly constituency.

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Spending split 

The chart shows the money spent on candidates and general party propaganda as a % of the total expenditure. The AIADMK spent 99.5% of its election fund on propaganda. The DMK and the AITC split the share equally between candidate expenditure and propaganda.

 

Spending strategy

The chart depicts the party-wise breakup of expenses incurred towards propaganda. The AIADMK put all its eggs in one basket and allotted 99% to media and advertisement. The AITC spread out its expenses and banked the most on star campaigners for propaganda. The INC relied on its star campaigners while contesting in Assam, but in Kerala, it spent the most on media and advertisements.

 

Strategy change

The table shows the expenditure strategy adopted by the AIADMK and the DMK in the last two Assembly elections. The AIADMK reduced its election spending, while the DMK’s increased. There wasn’t any change in the DMK’s strategy for furthering party propaganda. However, its expenses on rallies decreased in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions and were compensated with increased spending on publicity materials. The AIADMK overhauled its strategy and spent only on media and advertisements, a significant change from 2016.

 

 

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