Over 62% of total income of seven national parties came from donations: ADR

    New Delhi: More than 62 per cent of the total income of seven national parties came from donations through Electoral Bonds amounting to Rs 2993.826 cr for the financial year 2019-20 with no identity disclosed to the public, according to an analysis by election watchdog Association for Democratic Rights (ADR).

    As per the data shared by the SBI in response to ADR’s RTI application, Electoral Bonds worth Rs 3429.5586 cr were redeemed by parties in the financial year 2019-20. Out of this, a total 87.29 per cent were received by four national parties — Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, All India Trinamool Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, said the ADR report. The total amount of Electoral Bonds declared by the national and regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 so far is Rs 3441.324 cr. The difference in the amount declared by political parties and data on Electoral Bonds redeemed received from SBI could be due to the manner in which parties report in their audit report. For example: AAP declared donations from electoral bonds under the head “Others (Electoral Bonds/Electoral Trust),” added the report.

    The most common and popular source of income for the national and regional political parties for FY 2019-20, according to the ADR report, are donations through Electoral Bonds which have emerged as the most popular channel of donations to parties in the last two years. The report says, “It is to be noted that the JMM party has declared the name of the donor who donated Rs 1 crore through Electoral Bonds in its contribution report for FY 2019-20, however, this income through electoral bonds has not been declared by the party in its audit report, FY 2019-20. This raises the question as to whether political parties are aware of the donor’s identity who made contributions via electoral bonds, as can be seen in this case.”

    During the financial year 2019-20, out of the 42 regional parties, the JDS, SAD, JVM-P and LJP declared receiving a total income of Rs 14.884 cr from the sale of coupons. Of all regional parties that have submitted their audit reports, 14 parties namely the TRS, TDP, YSR-C, BJD, DMK, SHS, AAP, JDU, SP, JDS, SAD, AIADMK, RJD and JMM have declared receiving donations through Electoral Bonds worth Rs 447.498 cr, which is 50.97 per cent, says the ADR report.

    The most common and popular items of expenditure for regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 are election expenses, general propaganda and administrative, general expenses. Janata Dal Secular (JDS) has declared membership fees and other fees under the grants, donations, contributions for the FY 2019-20, as per the report.

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