According to the statements of poll expenditure submitted by the parties to the Election Commission, the BJP spent Rs 448.66 crore in the last general elections and yet lost the race to power.
The ruling Congress spent Rs 380.04 crore, which is Rs 68.62 crore less than the poll expenditure of the opposition party.
Of the total BJP's poll expenditure, Rs 162. 68 crore was spent by the party central office while another Rs 285.98 crore expenditure was incurred at the level of states.
The analysis of the 2009 Lok Sabha election expenditure statements submitted by various political parties to the poll body reveals interesting details about the funds they received from different sources, with majority of donations being in cash rather than through transparent means of funding.
Data analysis shows that only 24 per cent of the total election funding the Congress received was made through cheques and demand drafts, the remaining being in cash. The BJP, however, received close to half (49 per cent) through cheques and demand drafts.
The Congress received a total of Rs 313.74 crore of poll funding during the last Lok Sabha election period.
Of this, a whopping Rs 237.36 crore was received by the party in cash and only Rs 76.38 crore came in cheques and demand drafts which are accounted for by the donors.
The BJP received total election funding worth Rs 478.61 crore through cheques and demand drafts. The remaining Rs 239.73 crore was received by the BJP in cash at both the central and state levels.
Of the cumulative funds collected by BJP during the 2009 Lok Sabha poll campaign, a total of Rs 163.03 crore was received by the party's central office while Rs 315.58 crore came through its offices in the states, BJP's statement to EC shows.
Among other national parties, BSP spent a total of Rs 21.23 crore during the last general elections.
The Mayawati-led party received funding to the tune of Rs 33.16 crore from the date of announcement of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls on March 2, 2009, till the date of completion of the poll process on May 28 of that year.
BSP received a meagre Rs 20,000 through cheques and demand drafts while the rest of the chunk came in cash.
UPA ally, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, incurred a total poll expense of Rs 26.17 crore, which includes Rs 18.26 crore at the state level and Rs 7.91 crore at the national/central headquarters.
The party received election funding worth Rs 8.38 crore at the central level. Of these receipts, a majority was in cash with only Rs 1.89 crore received in cheques, according to the expenditure and receipt statement submitted by the party to the EC.
Another national party, CPI(M), submitted total poll expenditures of Rs 10.26 crore in the last Lok Sabha polls.
That includes Rs 6.53 crore spent on individual candidates, Rs 2.16 crore incurred at the district level, Rs 1.47 crore at the state level and Rs 9.75 lakh at the national/central level. The party also spent Rs 57.35 lakh at the national/ central level, its poll expense statement shows.
CPI(M) received a total of Rs 1.53 crore in election funds at the national/central level during the poll process, a majority of it in cheques and demand drafts.
Among the regional political outfits, Samajwadi Party spent Rs 21.49 crore on the last general elections, while Trinamool Congress footed bills of Rs 89.97 lakh as per the parties' respective poll expense statements to the EC.
While SP received donations of Rs 23.83 crore with only Rs 2.03 crore of that coming through cheques, TMC collected funds worth Rs 2.44 crore at the state and central level.
A meagre Rs 54,200 of TMC's collections came in the form of cheques. AIADMK's expenses amounted to Rs 12.17 crore with their statement saying Rs 8.07 crore of that was "not related to elections". The party got poll funds worth Rs 17.98 crore.
Of the total donations received by the J Jayalalithaa-led party, Rs 12.48 crore came in cash. The other major Tamil Nadu party, DMK, spent Rs 7.77 crore in the last general elections and got funding to the tune of Rs 7.20 crore.
Around Rs 5.96 crore of DMK's total receipts came from interests on Fixed Deposits in banks.