BJP leads political ad spends on Facebook

BJP is the largest advertiser on the social media giant since 2018

NEW DELHI: Social media has emerged as one of the most powerful tools in elections. All the political parties are making the utmost use of social media platforms during the elections to tilt the opinion in their favour.

From February 2019 till August 24 this year, BJP spent Rs 4.61 crore on Facebook advertisements and Congress Rs 1.84 crore, according to the data available on the social media giant’s spending tracker. Keeping an eye on Maharashtra elections, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party spent most on this money tp push social issues, elections, and politics. 

Four other advertisers, linked to the BJP, also made it to the top 10 list including three that share the same address in Delhi as the ruling party’s national headquarters, according to the tracker.

These four include two community pages, ‘My First Vote for Modi’ (Rs 1.39 crore) and ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ (Rs 2.24 crore); Nation With Namo, which is categorised as a news and media website (Rs 1.28 crore); and, a page (Rs 0.65 crore) affiliated to BJP leader and former MP R K Sinha, who owns Security and Intelligence Services (SIS).

According to Facebook, an ad is categorised under “social issues, elections, and politics” if it is made by or on behalf of a candidate, political party, or advocates an outcome; is about a particular election or referendum; is regulated by political advertising, or is about a local social issue.

In total, these accounts and BJP spent Rs 10.17 crore on advertising, which accounts for 64 per cent of the total amount spent by the top ten rank holders, that is Rs 15.81 crore. The period covered includes the general elections in April-May 2019, which saw the BJP return to power with an overwhelming majority.

Earlier, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), claimed that BJP is by far the richest political party in India. The ADR analysed the audited accounts of the BJP, and six other national parties, including the Congress, for 2016-17. In 2019, BJP earned Rs 2,410 crore.

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