More Trouble for Goa BJP as RSS Rebel Subhash Velingkar Wipes out Shakas, Vows to Bring BJP Party Down

Devika Sequeira | The Wire: Stuck with finding a replacement for Manohar Parrikar, the Bharatiya Janata Party has resorted to the cynical ploy of putting the Goa government in a total state of freeze. But there’s more trouble looming round the corner for the saffron party. It comes in the shape of the outspoken former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, who recently articulated the widely held perception that the seriously ill chief minister was being prevented from signing off, so the “power hungry” BJP can continue to cling to power.

Parrikar’s health was “deteriorating very fast”, but a small cabal of insiders had assumed control of his affairs to the extent that no one was allowed to visit the chief minister to prevent the public from knowing “his true condition”, Velingkar told The Wire. He said he’d been told Parrikar’s brother too had not been allowed to visit him recently. The former RSS man named a high profile government lawyer, a doctor and a minor party functionary running the inner clique for putting out information on the Goa CM’s health “that no one believes”.

Earlier in the week, responding to media questions on the chief minister’s medical condition, health minister Vishwajit Rane’s remarks raised eyebrows, when he said people often defied medical science to get better and he believed “a miracle can happen” in Parrikar’s case. Rane is among those lobbying to become chief minister.

Sacked from the RSS in September 2016 for his unsparing criticism of Parrikar’s education policy, Velingkar’s rebellion caused the first ever split in the Sangh when he formed a parallel RSS Goa Prant – renamed Bharat Mata Ki Jai since. The dismissal from the right-wing mother lode he had nurtured in Goa is an ignominy he hasn’t forgotten. “They sent three letters sacking me. It was done in connivance with the BJP’s central leaders,” he says. The bitter parting of ways continues to resonate politically in Goa. In last year’s election, Velingkar and his RSS supporters campaigned extensively against the BJP in constituencies where the Sangh has a footprint. Several RSS-rooted BJP MLAs were defeated in the 2017 election, including the former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

Ninety-five percent of the Goa RSS cadre is now a part of his rebel organisation. The Sangh’s shakas here have been practically wiped out by the exodus to the shakti kendras of his group, Velingkar claims. “There are no RSS shakas in Goa. We have 5,000 workers and 107 shakti kendras.” His target, he says, is “to bring down this government and finish the BJP”.

Whether he can indeed make a difference is another matter. But it is hardly good news for a party already in deep turmoil over the leadership crisis and the entry of two former Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte who defected to the BJP on October 16 to bring down the Congress tally in the House from 16 to 14. The BJP’s ruthless cheque-book politics is the last thing Goa needed with its government in a state of paralysis for over eight months ever since Parrikar was diagnosed with cancer.

A day after Shirodkar’s defection, local newspapers were awash with reports of how he’d been rewarded with a land acquisition deal worth Rs 70 crore. The property the government is buying for no reason is being acquired at ten times the market value, the reports said. The case has now been taken to the Goa Lokayukta.

Governor Mridula Sinha’s silence over the charade of a government in Goa has also been criticised. “The governor’s intervention is long overdue,” Prabhakar Timble, a former state election commissioner pointed out. “For the governor to accept that the seat of chief minister is still not vacant is to turn a blind eye to the primary constitutional duty [of her post]”.

A press release put out Saturday said Parrikar would chair a cabinet meet at his residence on Wednesday. The last cabinet meeting was held earlier this year in February. The BJP leader was brought back to Goa from the All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi on October 14.

Devika Sequeira is a freelance journalist based in Goa.

Source: The Wire

In Goa, fault lines widen in BJP as leaders squabble among themselves

The political situation in Goa continues to be in a flux. After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lured away two Congress MLAs — Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar — observers believed state politics would return to normalcy.

However, the arrival of the two ‘rebel’ Congressmen has brought the infighting in the BJP to the fore.

Former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has given vent to his ire at the two Congressmen being inducted into the saffron party without informing him.

Parsekar had lost to Sopte in the 2017 assembly election from the Mandrem constituency.

Parsekar recently criticized the BJP leadership for this move. He also criticised Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar for inducting the two Congressmen.

The infighting between Tendulkar and Parsekar has affected the party cadres and discipline. Considering that the BJP is a cadre-based party with a stress on discipline, the war of words between the two leaders has sent the wrong signal to the party rank and file.

The absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from public life is not only also affecting the administration but also the political situation in the state.

Party workers feel that situation would have been totally different if Parrikar was active. The Goa BJP cadres are also confused about the leadership.

On other hand regional parties like Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) which are coalition partners in the government are pressuring BJP leadership to assure stability of the government in the absence of CM Parrikar.

Political observers say that if the current situation persists BJP will certainly lose its credibility and face a hard time during the 2019 general elections.

In the 40-seat Goa assembly, BJP and Congress have 14 seats each; MGP, GFP and Independents have three seats each; while Nationalist Congress Party has a seat, two are vacant.

Goa Congress begins shortlisting candidates for assembly by-polls in Shiroda and Mandrem

PANAJI: The Congress in Goa has started process of shortlisting candidates for assembly by-elections which will be held due to resignation of two MLAs of the party.

Speaking to reporters in the city on Thursday, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Chandrakant Kavlekar said process of selection of the candidates had begun and many leaders have expressed interest to contest the election.

However, party high command would take a final decision after consulting local leadership, he added.

Expressing confidence that the party candidates would win both the seats, he claimed that people of both the constituencies– Mandrem and Shiroda– would teach a ‘lesson’ to its former Congress MLAs.

The by-election will be held due to resignation of two party MLAs Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar.

While Mr Sopte represented Mandrem constituency, Mr Shirodkar was an MLA from Shiroda constituency.

They had resigned as an MLA as well as primary member of the party and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi.

Interestingly, both the MLAs had defeated BJP candidates in 2017 assembly elections.

Source: UNI

Amit Shah, Goa BJP leaders promised me a Cabinet berth, GTDC chairmanship for joining party: Dayanand Sopte

Former Congress’ Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte, who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this week, on Sunday announced that the saffron party has promised and guaranteed him a Cabinet berth next month and until then he has been assured of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairmanship, reports The Herald.

The BJP in Goa is likely to have a Cabinet rejig after Diwali and portfolios are expected to be reallocated, sources said.

Addressing around 500 supporters at a meeting in Mandrem constituency, Sopte said that BJP has assured him of getting support from former MLA Laxmikant Parsekar and the alliance partners- MGP and Goa Forward Party.

“They promised me that they would convince Parsekar to support me so that we could work together,” Sopte is reported to have told his supporters.

“I joined BJP only for development of the constituency and to ensure jobs to my people,” he said.

He said that during his meeting with BJP state leaders and Amit Shah he demanded jobs for the people, development, ministry and support from BJP workers and Parsekar.

“The Party leadership has promised me a ministry next month and till then I will be appointed as GTDC Chairman,” he said.

Former Goa CM Parsekar has already expressed his anguish over the party’s decision to induct his arch rival Sopte and has announced to work against Sopte in the coming by-election.

Meanwhile, Sopte said that despite being in the Congress he had a cordial relationship with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP Ministers and MLAs.

“That is the reason that irrespective of the fact that I was in Opposition, Government gave Rs 32 crore to my constituency for developmental works in 18 months,” Sopte said.

Lashing out at the Congress, Sopte said that despite emerging as single largest party Congress failed to form Government only because they could not finalise their leader.

“After that, we got three different opportunities to form government but even after that we failed. Only because there was more than one leader,” he said.

Sopte recalled how the then Congress MLA and current BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane had asked him to quit the party along with him soon after Assembly election results in 2017. “But then, I did not wanted to betray the people, who had voted for me,” he said.

Source: Herald & Agencies

PICS: Over-speeding Kyle Ticlo, son of Goa BJP MLA Glen Ticlo’s BMW knocks down two sisters in Belagavi, one killed; car set ablaze – See pics

Panaji: A 20-year-old girl was killed and her 18-year-old sister grievously injured after the BMW car being driven by Aldona MLA Glen Ticlo’s son Kyle Ticlo mowed down the two girls in Belagavi on Monday evening.

While Tamreen Khalid Bispi died on the spot, her sister Tehaniyat was said to be battling for life at a local hospital and is in a very serious condition as per media reports.

The incident reportedly occurred at around 6:05 pm yesterday (Monday evening), when the two girls were crossing NH-4 near Gandhi Nagar in Belagavi to go to the fruit market.

Also Read: Goa BJP MLA’s son Kyle Ticlo was driving recklessly and over-speeding, going at over 180 km/hr when BMW spun out of control

Bystanders told media persons that the car was being driven at a very high speed. “The driver was going at a speed far above the permissible limit on that section of the highway. He must have been doing nearly 160 to 180 kms per hour when the accident occurred. It is a clear case of over-speeding, and reckless driving which caused the accident, resulting in the death of one girl and severally injuring her sister,” Hashim Khan, an eyewitness told an IndiaScoops.com stringer who visited the site of the accident about an hour after the accident.

Over-speeding Kyle Ticlo, son of Goa MLA Glen Ticlo's BMW knocks down two sisters in Belagavi (1)

According to reports, Kyle Ticlo, who was allegedly over speeding and driving the car at very high speed at the time of the accident, purportedly lost control of the vehicle and hit the two girls crossing the road.

A PTI report confirmed that the son of Goa Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Glen Ticlo on Monday allegedly ran over an 18-year-old woman and wounded her sister while driving on the NH 4 in Belagavi in Karnataka.

Over-speeding Kyle Ticlo, son of Goa MLA Glen Ticlo's BMW knocks down two sisters in Belagavi (3)

Belagavi Police Commissioner DC Rajappa on Tuesday said 27-year-old Kyle Ticlo was arrested and released on bail.

However, locals allege that the police treated the serious accident with ‘kid gloves’ because Kyle called his MLA father who spoke to the Belagavi Police Commissioner on the phone, requesting his support.

Also Read: Goa MLA Glen Ticlo’s BMW Car Set On Fire After Son Kyle Glen Ticlo Kills a Woman, Injures Another In Accident at Belagavi

The incident triggered violence in the area and several people pelted stones and allegedly tried to set the luxury car on fire. The police said they arrested seven people for the incident.

Eyewitnesses said that an angry mob gathered the spot and damaged the vehicle, breaking its windshield and even tried to set it ablaze.

kyle-ticlo-glen-ticlo-accident-bmw

The enraged crowd also blocked the national highway for around 15 minutes, but the police resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the mob, the Times of India reported.

Ticlo confirmed that he owns the car involved in the accident, The Times of India reported. Eyewitnesses told the daily that the driver was speeding and had lost control of the car.

with inputs from PTI & Times of India

NY Times takes up ‘Fishy’ Rafale deal, says Modi’s image as incorruptible destroyed, predicts a “tough one” for Modi in 2019 polls

The article, titled “With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi, says that the deal has caused a great deal of damage to Modi’s incorruptible image.

America’s top newspaper The New York Times has called the Rafale deal “fishy” in a recently published article.Stating that the deal has finally given a chance to the main opposition party, the Congress, to land a blow on PM Modi, the newspaper said that for the first time in last four years, the opposition parties have been able to “build a damaging narrative and land a solid punch” on Modi.

“For several years, Indian politics have been dominated by Mr Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, which has grown accustomed to pushing around its rivals,” said the article, published on October 6.It added, “But for the first time in a long time, the opposition, by building a damaging narrative around this arms deal, has landed a solid punch, and is hoping to keep the pressure on Mr Modi and his party ahead of next year’s general election.”

Taking note of accusations being leveled by Congress, the article went on to say, “Congress Party officials have dominated headlines and social media with their accusations that Mr. Modi inflated the price of the aircraft, estimated to cost $8.7 billion, and brought in a trusted ally on the deal so his political party could get something back in return.”

The article, titled “With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi, further says that the deal has caused a great deal of damage to Modi’s uncorruptible image. Quoting Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, the newspaper termed the deal as “fishy.”

Hailing the Rafale deal “a new spring in the step” for the Congress, the newspaper predicted that the Lok Sabha election in 2019 is going to be a tough one for Modi.

Source: National Herald

 

Kamal Haasan demands probe into Rafale deal?

Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan has said that an investigation should be carried out to answer questions that are being raised over the Rafale deal.

Speaking to media persons on Friday, Haasan said that at a time when suspicions are being raised against the central government’s conduct, the best way out is to order an investigation that will answer all questions.

“There are a lot of allegations and suspicions [about the Rafale deal]. An investigation must be ordered. If one is innocent, there is nothing to fear,” he said.

The Modi government is facing criticism from the Opposition over alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal with French defence manufacturing giant Dassault Aviation.

The Congress has been accusing the central government of nepotism and said that it gave special preference to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence over other competitors for an offset contract with Dassault. The second criticism is about the alleged price escalation of the Rafale fighter jets from the UPA-era deal.

The chief of the Makkal Needhi Mayam also attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for the rise in fuel prices. Haasan said the continuous rise in fuel prices is resulting in the hike in prices of other commodities too.

“The central government is more responsible for this [than the state government]. When the BJP was in the Opposition, the party had protested against hike in fuel prices. Why is not doing anything now?” he asked.

Source: India Today

BJP will be wiped out in 2019; won’t allow NRC in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

KOLKATA: Launching a scathing attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Centre, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise will not be allowed in the state. She added that the BJP will be wiped out in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“We will not allow NRC exercise in Bengal. They (BJP leaders) are challenging us. If we are challenged, we will give them a fitting reply,” she said.

Referring to the recent panchayat polls in the state, she alleged that the party is resorting to politics of killing in the state.

“The BJP won just a few seats in erstwhile Maoist hotbed of Jangalmahal by resorting to politics of killing. The former CPI(M) goons are now working for them,” she said at a rally here on the occasion of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (students’ wing) foundation day.

The chief minister also said that she would not “tolerate” if a citizen is wrongfully tagged a foreigner here.

“We are Bengal tigers, we will not tolerate if an Indian citizen is dubbed a foreigner,” she asserted.

Banerjee has been a vocal critic on Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, calling it an attempt to isolate Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus out of the state.

“West Bengal will suffer because of this. There will be huge ramifications of this (Assam NRC). Where will these 40 lakh displaced persons stay? Bangladesh won’t take them back,” Banerjee had said after the release of the historic Assam NRC document, that had names of 40.07 lakh applicants missing.

Source: Zee News

In spite of a national uproar, BJP MP Gopal Shetty still questions the role of Christians in the Indian Freedom Struggle, says it’s a debatable topic and refuses to apologize or withdraw earlier statements

IndiaScoops.com Bureau | Mumbai, Jul 6: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Shetty who is known for his controversial remarks in the past, tendered his resignation on Friday after he stirred a controversy calling Christians ‘angrez’ who have not contributed to the freedom struggle. The incident occurred on Sunday July 1 at Malwani in suburban Mumbai.

The MP from Mumbai North Gopal Shetty is heard saying in a video clip, which has gone viral: “Christians were British; hence they didn’t participate in the freedom movement. India was not freed by Hindus or Muslims, we fought as one, as Hindustanis for our independence.”

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

Shetty defended his statements, and at first said he was misinterpreted. On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the news broke out in the local media, Shetty initially tried to say he was misquoted and misrepresented and his comments were twisted or reported out of context. Possibly Shetty and his advisers did not themselves understand or realize the meaning and magnitude of his statements. Or it was a subtle and clever trick, with Shetty trying to appease one community in the sensitive Malwani area.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

But as his recorded speech video clip went viral nationally on Friday and mainline Tv news channels began playing the video clip, Shetty did a U-turn. His party bosses did not bat for him and a dejected Shetty came to understand what he said and what was being interrupted. He then claimed he had not said something that required him to apologize. He told media that the fact is that people from every religion contributed for Indian freedom. However, he expressed unhappiness that his party did not stand by him.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

Amidst rising national outrage, Shetty said he stood by his comments. “I just said Catholics may not be in freedom struggle because it was the British rule.” “I have my freedom of expression and this statement can be debated if needed. I have offered my resignation from MP post to Maharashtra BJP president and now it is up to the party. I do not want to embarrass my party,” added Shetty. 

Catholics in Mumbai who have a sizable presence  in various sectors in the city, including Education, IT services, Banking & Finance and Media have not taken kindly to Shetty’s utterances. “We are Indians first and foremost. Shetty called us ‘Angrez’ or British in a derogatory way. He said since we were British, we did not participate in the Freedom Struggle. Doesn’t he understand what he was saying. Either he is playing dumb or trying to be very clever. All he had to do is say sorry, but he has refused to apologize. In spite of a national uproar and condemnation from his own party colleagues, he has added fuel to fire, by stating that the Christian contribution to the Freedom Struggle is a debatable topic. We are clear about our demands -we want an unconditional apology, or else we will take this matter to it’s legal conclusion. Shetty as an MP is expected to be a very responsible man. His constituency which comprises of Malad, Orlem, Borivili, Poisar, etc., has a sizable well-educated Christian population and the community’s contribution to the education sector is clearly evident by the several Church and convent schools in Shetty’s constituency,” said Gerard Lobo, who first submitted a written complaint to the Malwani Police Station.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

Shetty had made the controversial statement while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad program organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad in Mumbai on Sunday, July 1.

The Mumbai Congress hit back at the MP on Wednesday. “It’s clear BJP MP is not aware of history, or is purposely trying to create discord among members of one community with such communally sensitive utterances,” the Mumbai Congress tweeted.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

The Telangana Congress also took a dig at the BJP. “Official written orders were passed by the heads of RSS & Hindu Mahasabha asking their cadre not to participate in Indian Freedom Struggle & this is “BJP” History !!” the INC Telangana tweeted.

Mumbai BJP President and MLA from Bandra West Ashish Shelar told media that BJP does not support such statements and supports the Christian community. “Though the MP did not mean what he said, he has been asked to withdraw the statement,” Shelar added.

Two years ago, Shetty had stirred trouble for his party by describing farmer suicides as a “fashion”.

Elections 2019: In a run up to polls, BJP to spend over Rs 12,000 crore on Social Media, Ads and Digital PR in the next 12 months

BY PRANAV GHOSH | Mumbai | 26th May 2018: According to informed sources, media planners, social media experts, advertising industry professionals and election strategists, the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will spend over Rs 12,000 crore in the next 12 months in a massive build-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

IndiaScoops.com spoke to nearly 150 experts from various fields in India and abroad to arrive at these figures and the real picture is still more shocking. Of this figure, 50 per cent of the above amount of Rs 12,000 crore will be spent 3-4 months before the elections.

About 60 per cent of the total amount, or Rs 8000 crore is expected to be in black money or will be spent indirectly – not by the party – but by its well-wishers, party supporters and sympathizers and industrialists close to the BJP in a proxy digital war that has almost begun on social media.

Experts claim that about Rs 4-5000 crore will be paid abroad, from party supporters in the US, UK and Europe, but online campaigns will be directed at audiences and viewers in India.

A pro-BJP group in the US is creating about 500 new Facebook pages, 1000 Twitter accounts and about a 200-odd “news” websites, to peddle BJP  fare and propaganda to the masses which will targeted and directed at Indian viewers. Another similar group based in Canada is working in the same direction.

The BJP and its arms will employ about 7 lakh professionals pan-India to run its online campaigns, social media promotions and other related work like online poster and artwork design, etc., over the next 12 months. In the two months prior to the election, at least 10 lakh professionals will be employed full-time all over India in a massive digital war. An additional 20 lakh free-lancers and party workers will support this 7 lakh-plus digital army throughout the year.

Also Read: BJP hires more than 5000 IT professionals for final Karnataka Election salvo

2014 Figures

According to an article published in the Hindustan Times dated 20th April 2014, Media buyers and sources close to the BJP’s campaign said the party could end up spending about Rs 5,000 crore by May 12,2014, when the last phase of polling takes place. Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World, which is handling the BJP’s media planning, refused to say anything beyond “we are moving as per the approved plan”. This was in 2014, when the Modi wave was at its peak. This time in 2019, the BJP is much richer, much stronger and more desperate to win and will go all out to ensure a resounding majority like it got in 2014.

But a veteran media planner, who is working closely with the BJP, told HT on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media: “Planned spends on all media, including print, television, outdoor, internet and radio would be close to Rs 4,500 crore. The party has set aside an additional Rs 500 crore, which will be used, based on need, to beef up the campaign in critical constituencies and states in the last few days of campaigning.” This is on record and the figures quoted are from industry experts. It does not include the local spend by MPs and their supporters as well as third party sympathizers and “well-wishers”.

According to an article in The Hindu dated 19th April 2014, Anand Sharma, former Union Commerce Minister in UPA 2,  was quoted as saying, “The use of money and resources by the BJP in these elections is unprecedented. At least Rs. 10,000 crore is being spent by the party to project only one person.

On TV, the BJP bought about 2,000 spots a day across Hindi, English and regional news, general entertainment and sports channels. A spot in most popular entertainment channels cost about Rs 80,000 per 30 seconds. The budget: Rs 800-1,000 crore. It spent another Rs 150 crore during the T20 World Cup. The online and radio budget is about Rs 35 crore, the same HT article dated 20th April 2014 had claimed. Asked to comment on its ad budget, a senior BJP leader said, “The expenditure would be about Rs 700-750 crore.”

“The BJP’s spending is at least four times that of the Congress,” said Santosh Sood, former COO, Rediffusion Y&R, a media buying agency. This time in 2019, it is expected to be 6 to 8 times that of the Congress, senior politicians claim.

Government & Election Commission Spending in 2014

According to a PTI report dated 16th March 2014, the projected expenditure to elect the 16th Lok Sabha is set to rival the USD seven billion (approximately Rs. 42,000 crore) spent by candidates and parties in the 2012 US presidential elections.

A study carried out by Centre for Media Studies on poll spendings says “unaccounted for” money pumped in by “crorepati” candidates, corporates and contractors has pushed up the expenditure to elect 543 MPs.

Out of the estimated Rs. 30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs. 7000 to Rs. 8000 crore to hold the electoral exercise for the 16th Lok Sabha.

While the Election Commission is likely to spend around Rs. 3,500 crore, the Union Home Ministry, Indian Railways, various other government agencies and state governments will spend a similar amount to put in place means to ensure free and fair poll. In 2019, the figure is likely to go up by at least 25 per cent.

According to an article in FirstPost dated 5th March 2014,  BJP and Congress are planning to spend Rs 400-500 crore on an ad blitz, and the parties organisations could end up spending another Rs 500-1,000  crore for other forms of campaign-related expenses – banners, hoardings, organisation of public meetings, transport of key campaigners by helicopter or chartered flights, etc. Assuming the smaller regional parties together spend as much as the Congress and BJP put together, we are talking of total party spends in the region of Rs 2,000-4,000 crore.

Add the candidate spends,  and general election 2014 will cost anywhere from Rs 10,145 crore to Rs 17,000 crore for the parties. Add the Election Commission’s own expenses and the cost of deploying forces to ensure a free and fair poll, we should be looking at a total democracy cost of anywhere from Rs 11,000-18,000. In 2019, experts estimate the total expenses of Lok Sabha 2019 to be in the range of Rs 30,000 crore.

Modi Govt Ad Spend in 3.5 Years

The Modi government spent a whopping Rs 3,755 crore on its publicity in three-and-a-half years till October this year, a reply to an RTI query has revealed recently.

The expenditure on advertisements from April 2014 to October 2017 on electronic and print media and outdoor publicity is Rs 37,54,06,23,616, according to the reply given by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Again these are official figures. The unofficial figures including monies spent by well-wishers and party friends is almost double this amount.