India, the world’s largest democracy, has in recent years witnessed a significant transformation in political campaigning, particularly following the advent of digital media. Since 2014, there has been a noticeable surge in the use of social media for electoral campaigning and its appeal has continued to grow. Parties across the spectrum, including regional parties, have ramped up their digital strategies to capitalize on an ever-growing Internet user base. As India prepares for the 2024 general elections, the role of social media in shaping electoral narratives is expected to intensify. 

This case study analyses key trends in online campaigning in the country, examines the challenges and existing gaps and provides actionable recommendations for concerned stakeholders to design proactive measures to account for spending online to ensure a fair and transparent electoral environment in an increasingly digitalized democracy.


Publication date
22 April 2024
Niranjan Sahoo
Number of pages
978-91-7671-763-9 (PDF)


Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Digital campaigns: Key Trends

3. Digital campaigning expenditure in numbers

4. Overview of existing political financial regulations

5. The most recent attempt to regulate digital campaigns: The 2019 national polls and voluntary code of ethics

6. Issues and challenges

7. Conclusion and recommendations


Annex A. Voluntary code of ethics for the general elections 2019

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Political Finance in the Digital Age: The Case of India

Case Study, April 2024
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