New Delhi

The declared assets of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) jumped by 627 percent from Rs 122.93 crore to over Rs 893 crore between 2004-05 and 2015-16, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

During the same period, the total assets of Congress increased from Rs 167.35 crore to Rs 758.79 crore, signifying an increase of 353.41 per cent.

The report, titled 'Analysis of Assets and Liabilities of National Parties – FY 2004-05 to 2015-16' was released on Monday, 16 October, by the ADR and the West Bengal Election Watch. Data from audited accounts submitted by seven political parties to the Income Tax Department and the Election Commission of India was used for the analysis.

Assets and liabilities declared by the BJP, Indian National Congress (INC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) between 2004-05 and 2015-16 fiscals were taken into consideration for the report.

With regard to the declaration of assets by the national parties, the analysis finds: “During 2004-05, the declared assets of BJP totalled Rs 122.93 crore, which increased by 627.15 percent to Rs 893.88 crore during 2015-16.”

Asset Growth of Political Parties Between 2004-2005 and 2015-2016

In the 11-year period for which the parties were assessed, the Congress had more assets than the BJP till the 2014-2015 financial year, which was the period that the BJP-led government came to power.

While the reserve fund of the BJP increased by 700 percent through the 11-year period, Congress’ reserve fund increased by 169 percent.

According to BJP spokesperson Gopal Agarwal, the rise in income is a manifestation of the party’s campaign to usher transparency in funding. “Donations are being received in cheques, and we are building offices in each district and raising corpus that will provide interest for meeting party expenditure. All tax returns are duly filed, and we have decided to operate a single centralised bank account to ensure transparency in donations,” Hindustan Times quoted Agarwal as saying.

The Average Total assets Declared By Parties

  • The average total assets declared by the seven national parties during 2004-05 were Rs 61.62 crore.
  • This increased to Rs 388.45 crore during 2015-16.
  • The total assets of the CPI-M increased by 383.47 percent (Rs 90.55 crore to Rs 437.78 crore) and of AITC from Rs 0.25 crore to Rs 44.99 crore (176 per cent).

“Whenever there is an election, there is a sharp increase in assets. They start collecting money the year before. Political parties should be transparent in their political funding. The biggest challenge for the election system is money power,” Major General Anil Verma (retd), head of National Election Watch/ADR, said, referring to the matter of issuance of electoral bonds for electoral funding.

The report said the CPI-M and AITC are the only two national parties to show a "steady increase" in their annual declared assets.

The assets declared by national parties fall under six major heads: fixed assets, loans and advances, FDR/ deposits, TDS, investments and other assets.

During 2004-05, the national parties declared maximum assets under FDR/deposits which amounted to Rs 183.442 crore.

During 2015-16, the highest asset category is 'other assets' under which the parties have declared holding Rs 1,605.114 crore, which formed 59 per cent of the total assets declared under various heads by the parties.

Total Liabilities Declared By Parties

The seven national parties declared a total of Rs 47.77 crore as liabilities during FY 2004-05, an average of Rs 6.82 crore per party.

During that period, the CPI-M declared highest liabilities of Rs 20.285, crore followed by the BJP at Rs 14.298 crore.

“The total liabilities for FY 2015-16 declared by the national parties is Rs 383 crore, an average of Rs 54.71 crore per party. The Congress declared the highest liabilities of Rs 329.43 crore, followed by the BJP with Rs 24.99 crore.”The CPI-M is the only party to declare a decrease in liabilities, which went down to Rs 5.14 crore in FY 2015-16.

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