In the last five years, between February 2019 and February 2023, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spent at least ₹33 crore on Facebook advertisements. While this may not seem quite colossal, it is around 10 per cent of all the money that all advertisers have cumulatively spent in that period to run Facebook adverts in India.

While the Indian National Congress (INC) spent ₹10.58 crore, the other big spenders are also part of the INDIA bloc — All Indian Trinamool Congress (AITC), which spent ₹8.04 crore and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which spent ₹4.31 crore. These numbers are based on businessline’s analysis of ad expenditure of pages that carry the names of these political parties. Ads run by Facebook pages of individual politicians are not taken into account.

Affordability and reach

Going by numbers put out by, India has the highest number of Facebook users in the world — 31.5 crore. This could be one of the reasons why political parties in the world’s biggest democracy consider Facebook as a medium to advertise. 

Affordability is another aspect. In five years, all advertisers cumulative spent just a little more than ₹360 crore to run Facebook advertisements in India. “Political parties have already embraced advanced digital platforms to engage with the varied set of digital audiences. While Google ads remain the most effective tool, offering high content consumption rates, Facebook ads are favoured for their affordability, albeit with limited audience reach and lower content consumption rates. Despite this, parties continue to use Facebook to ensure they connect with all segments of the population, including those who are old-school digital users,” said Sam Stains, Senior Media Analyst, Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC). A lot of these political ads are run by I-PAC, which handles the campaign for AITC and YSR Congress. They previously tied up other prominent parties, including the DMK, during the 2021 Tamil Nadu elections and the Aam Aadmi Party during the 2020 Delhi elections.


The BJP’s official Facebook page has spent the most amount of money to run ads in India in five years — ₹10.27 crore. It is followed by Koo app, which spent ₹7.2 crore and AITC’s ‘Banglar Gorbo Mamata’ page which spent ₹5.86 crore. Of Facebook’s top 15 advertisers in India, six are BJP-run pages. Two of them are run by INC.

The list also features ‘Ek dhoko Kejriwalne’, a slander page that routinely defames Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. This page was previously titled ‘Paltu Express’ and it spent ₹3.19 crore on ads. Another slander page ‘Ulta Chashma’ constantly defames a bunch of INDIA bloc leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Kejriwal. It is also part of the list, having spent ₹1.93 crore on ads.