Congress questions BJP over its poll expenditure

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said that the BJP spent around Rs 28,000 crore of the total Rs 60,000 crore spent by all political parties during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and demanded that the BJP disclose the details of the source of the money.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “According to Centre for Media Studies, the BJP spent over Rs 28,000 crore (or 45 per cent) of the Rs 60,000 crore spent by all political parties in total during the polls.”

The amount the BJP spent during the Lok Sabha polls is about one third of the country’s education budget, 43 per cent of the health budget, 10 per cent of the defence budget and about 45 per cent of the MGNREGA budget, he said.

“Even the amount of Rs 24,000 crore spent by the BJP government over the Namami Gange project is less than the election expenditure of the BJP,” Singhvi said.

The Congress leader said this is an issue about fairness during elections and giving equal opportunities to everyone.

He said democracy is a part of our core structure which is dependent on free and fair elections.

“This is possible only by providing a level playing field and only if political parties are given equal opportunities,” the Congress leader said.

Demanding answers from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its electoral expenditure, Singhvi said: “They (BJP) must explain the source of their money. They should explain whether it’s white or black money as they spent such a huge amount after demonetisation.”

Firing salvos at the BJP, Singhvi questioned: “Did the maximum amount of the said amount come from electoral bonds?”

Singhvi’s remarks came after a Delhi-based think tank in it’s report claimed that the BJP was the biggest spender in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, accounting for 45-50 per cent of the nearly Rs 60,000 crore spent.

The report also said that the Congress spent about 15-20 per cent of Rs 60,000 crore during the elections.