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According to the latest reports, the general elections 2014 is believed to be the costliest election in the history of Independent India.

The first election to the Lok Sabha was held in 1951-52. The total number of seats has increased from 489 in 1952 to 543 in 2014.

Year19521957197719801989199119961998199920092014
Cost(in Rs cr)10.455.9235415435959766688014003500

cost for elections

2009 general elections incurred Rs. 1400 crores and in 2014 it is expected to be around Rs. 3500 crores. That’s an increase of almost 150%.

This will not cover the expenses incurred for security and the spend by political parties. That means this is the cost projected by the election commission of India for their expenses – conducting elections for different states, buying/repairing of electronic voting machines, transportation of election officials, their expenses, awareness campaigns of election commission, transporting election equipment from district heads to respective polling booths, etc.

Apart from these expenses, the political parties all over India are shedding loads of money on campaigns (online+offline), the daily expenses of their activists, officials, travelling, printing, food and other daily expenses, miscellaneous expenses etc.

Now a little bit of maths. Assuming the cost of conducting an election in a constituency be around 15-20 crores. (This is an assumption. The original estimate may vary depending on various factors). We have a total of 543 constituencies. That is, the total costincurred might be around Rs. 10, 860 crores.

So are we spending too much on elections?

We cannot avoid conducting an election. As a democratic republic, its our right to vote. But shouldn’t we control the spending and use part of these expenses on our basic needs, after all its our money that is being spent on these elections!