The Indian general elections are one of the largest exercise in democracy across the world. This large-scale operation also involves huge costs. The cost of general elections to the exchequer via the Election Commission has increased from Rs 948 crore in the 1999 general election to Rs 1,114 crore for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, according to data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation. Incidentally, the total election expenditure was up 9.6% to Rs 1,114 crore for the 2009 polls from Rs 1,016 crore for the 2004 elections.

Admist the election season, IndiaSpend decided to look at the state-wise details of the 2009 general elections. Since most big states have a large number of seats, this involves greater preparation for the elections. Also states such as Assam feature among the top 5 due to insurgency in the region, leading to heightening security and raising the cost of election in the state.

Maharashtra topped the list during the last election with a total expense of Rs 155 crore followed by West Bengal ( Rs 150 crore) and Assam (Rs 97 crore). In fact, the total expenditure incurred by the top five states comprised 50% of the total election expenditure of Rs 1,114 crore.

The map below shows the state-wise election expenditure for election 2009.