For a party out of power for long, the Shiv Sena is not doing badly on the financial front. Despite the absence of routine channels of fund mobilization for over a decade, the party’s coffer looks decently stacked, at least as far as polls are concerned. Its Lok Sabha poll expenditure more than doubled in 2009 compared to 2004. The party, which won 11 of the 22 seats it contested in Maharashtra, spent nearly Rs. 8.16 crore in the last general elections, an RTI query revealed. In 2004, the party had spent Rs. 3.49 crore. Interestingly, the party ended up a bit richer at the end of the elections, with Rs. 2.43 Crore. When elections were announced in March 2009, it had a balance of Rs. 1.63 Crore. According to the Shiv Sena’s submission before the Election Commission, the party received Rs. 8.48 Crore in donations. Over Rs. 4.14 Crore of this was received in cash, while the rest came in the form of cheques and demand drafts. The party forked out Rs. 2.72 Crore – nearly a quarter of its poll-spend on publicity. The expenditure included advertisements in newspapers and booking of time slots on television channels. Over Rs. 1.01 crore was spent on the electronic media and Rs. 1.37 crore on the print media. The rest went into printing material, cut-outs, hoardings and making and distribution of video films. The Sena claims it did not spend anything on processions, but it spent Rs. 21.74 lakh on public meetings and Rs. 51.36 lakh on running the party office. It has not shown any spend at the district or state level, or on individual candidates. Bureau report – NMTV News.