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More than 54% of the BJP’s income came from electoral bonds, an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms showed.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had 76.73% share of the nearly Rs 3,077 crore combined income declared by all six national political parties in the financial year 2022-’23, an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms showed on Wednesday.

Of this total income of the six national parties, that of the BJP was Rs 2,361 crore.

The Congress declared its income as Rs 452.37 crore during this period. The income of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was Rs 141.66 crore and that of the Aam Aadmi Party was Rs 85.17 crore. While the Bahujan Samaj Party had an income of Rs 29.27 crore, that of the National People’s Party was Rs 7.56 crore.

The non-profit election watchdog’s analysis showed that Rs 1,294.14 crore or 54.82% of the BJP’s income came from electoral bonds.

Electoral bonds were monetary instruments that citizens or corporate groups could buy from the State Bank of India and give to a political party, which then redeems them. The entire process was anonymous since buyers were not required to declare their purchase of these interest-free bonds and political parties did not need to show the source of the money.

Only the total amount received through the electoral bonds was revealed to the Election Commission. The scheme was introduced by the BJP-led Union government in 2018.

The Supreme Court on February 15 struck down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional, saying that it could lead to quid pro quo arrangements between donors and political parties.

While the Congress received Rs 171.02 from electoral bonds during the financial year 2022-’23, the Aam Aadmi Party received Rs 45.45 crore through the scheme. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Bahujan Samaj Party and the National People’s Party did not declare having received any money through electoral bonds.

The BJP spent a significant share of its income, Rs 1,092.15 crore, towards “election and general propaganda” followed by Rs 191.42 crore towards administrative costs, the report showed.

The significant part of the Congress’ spending was on administrative and general expenses that amounted to Rs 235.83 crore, followed by election expenditure of Rs 192.55 crore.

The Aam Aadmi Party spent Rs 58.829 crore on “propaganda expenses” followed by Rs 36.341 crore on election expenditure, the report said.

The party’s income increased by 91.23% from Rs 44.539 crore in the financial year 2021-’22 to Rs 85.17 crore in 2022-’23, the report added.

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