Anonymous donors 76 per cent, voluntary donors less than 7…

Voluntary donations by supporters and well-wishers and sales of coupons fetched less than 7 per cent of the total income of 27 regional parties, reveals an ADR analysis

Representative image (Photo: NH File Photo)
Representative image (Photo: NH File Photo)

NH Political Bureau

A higher percentage of the total income of even regional parties is derived from ‘unknown sources’, including electoral bonds from donors unknown to the parties!

An analysis of the various parties’ audited reports and contribution reports submitted to the Election Commission by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) reveals that while national parties derive 66 per cent of their total income from unknown donors, the percentage for regional parties is even higher, at 76 per cent.

In the year 2021–22, the top five regional parties that benefitted from allegedly anonymous donors were the following:

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK): ₹ 306.025 crore

Biju Janata Dal (BJD): ₹ 291.096 crore

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS): ₹ 153.037 crore

Yuvajana Shramika Rythu (YSR)-Congress: ₹ 60.018 crore

Janata Dal (United) : ₹ 48.3617 crore

The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) was a national party and hence has not figured in this list. While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did submit the reports to the EC, it was not considered due to discrepancies noticed in the reports.

The ADR has recommended that “[s]ince a very large percentage of the income of political parties cannot be traced to the original donor, full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan.”

Any organisation receiving foreign funding should not be allowed to support or campaign for any candidate or political party— this is another significant recommendation made.

The Election Commission has already recommended to the government that tax exemption be granted to only those political parties which contest and win in elections. This would eliminate any spurious parties receiving donations from anonymous sources and claiming tax exemption without contesting any election.

National and regional parties must both provide all information under the Right to Information Act, reiterates the ADR, and points out that this would strengthen democracy and fair practice in elections.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines