Campaigning in Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the 2017 Assembly elections has taken a hit after the Centre’s decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs1000 notes. The cash crunch has killed enthusiasm among party workers, while the sales of publicity materials like flags and posters have dipped almost 75% in the last few weeks.
In UP, almost 95% election expenditure by political parties is conducted in cash. And some political parties like Bahujan Samaj Party are said to have their entire political funds in cash.
Congress party, which although managed to organise a huge, expensive rally for its president Sonia Gandhi in Allahabad this week, also cries foul over the cash crunch in the midst of poll campaigning.
According to Election Commission of India directive, all political parties have to declare donations above Rs 20,000. In UP, all political parties except BSP have received donations above Rs 20,000 in recent years, according to data collected by Association for Democratic Reforms.