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As the third phase of Lok Sabha elections are scheduled for Tuesday, data released by Facebook Ad Library shows that political parties and their affiliates have ramped up their expenditure on social media ads. During the February to March duration, the amount of money spend for political advertising came up to about Rs 10 crore, while just the first twenty days of April has seen Indians spending around Rs 7 crore for running political ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s Ad Library provides a searchable database. The function also includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance run on Facebook or Instagram. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates are still the leading accounts on spending for the ads on Facebook. The official BJP page took the top spot in the list of spenders on social media platforms. They spend Rs 1.3 crore on Facebook, followed by the official Congress page on Facebook spending Rs 56.69 lakh during February-April 20. Rs 44.32 lakh of the BJP’s ad expenditure on Facebook was spent during the week ending April 20.

But the total amount of how much the supporters and affiliates of political parties account for most of the spending on the social media platforms. Facebook Pages like Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat (Rs 2.23 core), My First Vote For Modi (Rs 1.08 crore) and Nation with NaMo (Rs 1.20 crore) are among those who spend the highest. Compared to BJP, the Congress Party has spend less.
Regional parties are also not behind in using up the social media platforms for propaganda ads. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lead the spending table on Facebook amidst regional parties.

The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.

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