BJP Spent Rs 7.27 Crore on 28,000 Google Ads Since EC Announced Poll Dates, YSRCP Distant Second, Shows Data – News18


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BJP's ad spending peaked on March 30, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with party cadre from Kerala through the NaMo App. The party spent Rs 2.66 crore on Google ads that day. (PTI/File)

BJP’s ad spending peaked on March 30, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with party cadre from Kerala through the NaMo App. The party spent Rs 2.66 crore on Google ads that day. (PTI/File)

Lok Sabha election 2024: While the BJP’s Google ads spending between March 16 and March 26 was negligible, it zoomed on March 27, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sit-down conversation with Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi were the top target areas of BJP ads

Since the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections 2024 on March 16, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has spent Rs 72.7 million on political advertisements on Google alone, leaving other political parties far behind. According to data accessed by News18 from Google India, the ruling party has spent Rs 7.27 crore on Google ads in just 17 days from March 16 to April 1.

A much distant second among political parties when it comes to expenditure on ads is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), which has spent Rs 8.53 million or Rs 85.34 lakh in the same 17-day period.

The Congress has Rs 4.46 million or Rs 44.6 lakh, closely followed by Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at an expenditure of Rs 2.79 million or Rs 27.9 lakh between March 16 and April 1.

Interestingly, many southern parties considered to have deep pockets, like the DMK, AIADMK or TDP, don’t feature in the top 10 spenders’ list which is otherwise dominated by political consulting agencies. The BJP features at the No.2 spot. Even Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP faction, both of which are part of the BJP-led NDA alliance and in power in cash-rich Maharashtra, are not on the list.

Last year, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi had increased its advertisement expenditure from Rs 15 crore to Rs 568 crore, a jump of 3,787% in approximately nine years, drawing the ire of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. The AAP is also currently in power in Punjab, but doesn’t feature in the top 10. Nor does Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, which is in power in West Bengal and had virtually plastered entire Goa with ads before the 2022 Assembly elections.

BJP SPENT Rs 2.66 CRORE IN A SINGLE DAY

The BJP spent Rs 7.27 crore on 28,502 on Google ads since the election schedule announcement. Almost 95% of this was spent on video ads, and the rest on photo ads. While the spending between March 16 and March 26 was negligible, it zoomed on March 27, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sit-down conversation with Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates. The ad spending peaked on March 30, when the Prime Minister interacted with BJP cadre from Kerala through the NaMo App. The party spent Rs 2.66 crore on Google ads that day.

UP, BIHAR and DELHI TOP BJP TARGETS

Going strictly by the target area of the Google ads, it is clear that Uttar Pradesh remains the BJP’s top focus as the state sends 80 MPs, the highest across India, to the Lok Sabha. PM Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi also falls in UP. The party has spent Rs 8.99 million or Rs 89.9 lakh on advertisements targeting internet users in Uttar Pradesh.

The second focus area of BJP’s Google ads in these 17 days has been Bihar, which accounts for 40 seats in the Lower House. The party spent Rs 6 million or Rs 60 lakh reaching out to netizens in Bihar.

It’s often said in Indian politics that the road to Delhi goes through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, hence it comes as no surprise that BJP spent the most on Google ads for these two states.

The third focus state, however, is an unconventional choice — Delhi. The BJP spent Rs 5.56 million or Rs 55.6 lakh on Google advertisements catering to the national capital, which sends only seven MPs to the Lok Sabha. But with the arrest of Delhi CM and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor-excise policy case, the BJP is not leaving anything to chance amid the possibility of a sympathy wave for the Aam Aadmi Party.

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