New Delhi: This was the most expensive Lok Sabha elections entailing a cost of Rs 3426 crore to the national exchequer, a substantial jump of 131 per cent over the expenses incurred in 2009.
In the last Lok Sabha polls five years back, the cost to the exchequer was Rs 1483.
The official expenses are part of the whopping Rs 30,000 crore that were projected to be spent by the government, political parties and candidates in the nine-phased polls.
The Election Commission attributed the jump in official expenses to inflation besides a series of measures undertaken to increase voting figures for the substantial rise in poll expenditure.
Several political parties have jumped into electoral fray and even the number of Independents contesting polls have increased. The more the candidates the more the expenditure. Voter awareness campaigns, distribution of voter slip ahead of election date, use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail for the first time in these polls pushed the expenditure further.
According to the Election Commission, the cost of conducting the general elections had already witnessed a 20-fold increase in 2009 as against the first polls held in 1952.
In 1952, the cost was 60 paise per elector which became Rs 12 in 2009.
Considering expenditure in absolute terms, Rs 10.45 crore was spent in 1952, while Rs 1483 crore was the amount government spent for 2009 polls.