BJP supporters offer sweets to a cutout of PM Narendra Modi as they celebrate the party’s victory in the assembly elections. (Photo: PTI)

BJP Races Ahead Of Congress In Facebook Ad Spends 

The Bharatiya Janata Party and its supporters accounted for a lion's share of total political advertising worth over Rs 4 crore on Facebook, according to data compiled by the social media giant.

The advertisements run for the ruling dispensation range from promotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government’s policies to those of its leaders, including BJP President Amit Shah -- all of which were not necessarily paid by the party but by its supporters.

From February till March 2, Facebook showed 16,556 ads related to politics and issues of national importance with ad spends reaching Rs 4.13 crore, according to Facebook's Ad Archive Report.

The specific date on which Facebook started collecting data was not disclosed. However, on Feb. 7, it said the enforcement of the new features and the political advertisements policy, that includes having disclaimers, would start from Feb. 21.

Also read: Facebook Unveils Political Ad Transparency Ahead of India Polls

Facebook is providing weekly aggregated insights for advertisements related to politics. Beginning March 4, the report is being refreshed weekly, with data from Sunday to Saturday of each week, a company spokesperson said.

The top spender in the tally was page ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ that ran 1,168 ads and spent Rs 1.01 crore, followed by ‘Nation with NaMo’ that spent Rs 52.24 lakh and ‘MyGov India’ that spent Rs 25.27 lakh.

The page 'Bharatiya Janata Party' had an ad spend of Rs 6.6 lakh, while Shah's page paid Rs 2.12 lakh.

Compared to this, the Congress and its supporters spent much lesser amounts with the highest being about Rs 48,000. Pages like 'I’m with Congress', 'Congress Party admirers forum' and 'Vote for Congress' had spends of Rs 684, Rs 535 and Rs 490, respectively, during the February to March 2 period. Telugu Desam Party spent Rs 35,867 during the said period.

Also read: Facebook Expands Fact-Checking Network In India To Spot Fake News