Hyderabad: N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam party has spent Rs 70.87 crore on the election campaign in 2019-2020.
NewsMeter has sourced the annual audit report of the TDP which the party submitted to the Election Commission. The document revealed that during the election year, Rs 54. 63 crore were spent on TV and other electronic media advertisements and publicity articles followed by Rs 4.5 crore on helicopter rides and Rs 11.74 crore on posters, manifestos, and leaflets.
TDP's major source of income remains individual donors, election bonds and companies/organizations. The party received Rs 84.30 crore funding. While the other incomes include interest on deposits with banks and IT refund.
TDP has listed 30 members as star campaigners during the 2019 general elections. They include Nara Chandrababu Naidu, N Lokesh, Vangaveeti Radha Krishna, Buddha Venkanna, actor turned politician Murali Mohan and more.
TDP chief had supported UPA in 2019. He was seen participating in campaigns in other states that went to the polls. Naidu took frequent chopper rides to Tirupati, West Godavari, and other districts during the election campaign. It is pertinent to note that Andhra Pradesh lost both Lok Sabha and assembly elections in 2019.
Meanwhile TDP's prime opposition, YSRCP led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, that came to power in 2019, has spent Rs. 89.49 crore between 2019 and 2020 towards election expenditure. Meanwhile, the party's total expenditure amounted to Rs. 131.12 crore.
The break-up of the party's election expenses revealed that Rs. 36.35 crore was spent in 2020 and Rs. 53.13 crore in 2019. It is pertinent to note that the state saw both legislature and Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Out of the total election expenditure for 2019-20, Rs. 41.49 crore was spent on 'management consultancy service' (referring to public relations campaigns). It should be recalled that the YSRCP had hired political strategist Prashanth Kishore's company IPAC to design the defeat of the Opposition party in 2019. The party had secured a landslide victory and come to power for the first time since its inception.