95% of funds from the ‘unknown’ sources comes from electoral bonds: ADR Report

According to the ADR report, sources of over 55% or 445.7 crore rupees of 803.24 crore rupees received as donations are capped as from ‘unknown’ sources.

Constituted electoral bonds accounted for nearly 95% of the donations received by regional political parties in fiscal 2019-20 from “unknown” sources, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in its latest report released on Thursday. More than 55% of donations were received from “unknown” sources, the report said.

Donations from the “unknown” sources contributed almost 71% of the national party income, the ADR report added.

Known sources contributes only 22.98% of regional party income

Only 22.98% of regional party income was attributed to known donors. A total of ₹186.62 crore rupees of the donation came from “known” sources. Meanwhile, ₹172.84 crore rupees were donated via other known sources like membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications and more. The latter accounted for 21.52% of the total income of the parties.

While the total amount of donations received by 25 regional parties in the financial year 2019-20 summed to 803.24 crore rupees, 445.7 crore rupees was attributed to “unknown” sources, according to the ADR report.

Of 445.7 crore rupees, 426.23 crore rupees were donated through electoral bonds, and the remaining 4.98 crore rupees were voluntary contributions.

Interestingly, regional parties from southern India have contributed immensely to donations from “unknown” sources. Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS received ₹89.16 crore rupees, Telugu Desam Party or TDP received ₹81.69 crore rupees, and YSR Congress Party got ₹74.75 crore rupees, the report said. Odisha’s BJD got ₹50.586 crore rupees, and Tamil Nadu’s DMK also got ₹45.50 crore rupees from “unknown” sources.

BJP and TMC spent over 150 crore rupees only in the Bengal poll

A report on the BJP’s election expenditure submitted to the Election Commission revealed that the party spent 252 crore rupees in the recently conducted assembly elections in five states – Assam, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. BJP spent 151.18 crore rupees alone in the West Bengal elections. Ruling party Trinamool Congress spent around 154.28 crore rupees in the state polls.

Unlike India, in some countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the USA and Japan, more than 50% of the source of funds cannot be unknown.

The ADR had instructed the parties to make the complete details of the donors available and suggested that organizations receiving foreign funding should not be allowed to support or campaign for any party or candidate. “The mode of payment of all donations (above and below ₹20,000), income from the sale of coupons, membership fees should be declared by the parties in…audit reports, submitted to the I-T department and ECI,” the ADR had said.

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