Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, donations to national parties doubled as per a report compiled by Association for Democratic Rights (ADR).

The total donations of the national parties during FY 2018-19 increased by `481.77 cr, an increase of almost 103%, from the previous financial year 2017-18. The total donations (above `20,000) declared by the national parties was `951.66 cr, from 5520 donations.

The ruling BJP was the favourite among the corporates ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The party walked away with most donations made to the national parties.

Donations to BJP increased from `437.04 cr during FY 2017-18 to `742.15 cr during FY 2018-19 (70% increase).

The Congress party went from `26.658 cr in the FY 2017-18 to `148.58 cr in FY 2018-19 (457% increase). The report says that a total of `742.15 cr was declared by BJP from 4483 donations while Indian National Congress declared receiving `148.58 cr from 605 donations.

The donations declared by BJP is more than three times the aggregate declared by INC, NCP, CPI, CPM and AITC for the same period. BSP declared that the party did not receive any donations above ` 20,000 during FY 2018-19, as it has been declaring for the past 13 years.

A total of 1776 donations to the national parties were made by corporate sector amounting to `876.11 cr (92.06% of total donations) while 3509 individual donors donated `71.407 cr to the parties during FY 2018-19.

Progressive Electoral Trust donated a total of Rs 455.15 cr to BJP, INC and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) together and is one of the top two donors to the three parties that received the maximum donations. The Trust donated Rs 356.535 cr to BJP (48.04% of total funds received by the party) and Rs 55.629 cr to INC (37.44% of total funds received by the party). BJP and INC received a total of Rs 67.25 cr (9.06%) and Rs 39 cr (26.25%), respectively from Prudent Electoral Trust

BJP has declared 452 donations of Rs 514.48 cr, AITC collected 89 donations of Rs 44.26 cr and INC collected 51 donations of Rs 4.51 cr having incomplete cheque/DD details where cheque number, bank details on which it was drawn and the date on which the cheque was received/ encashed is not provided.

Thus, without the complete cheque/DD details, it would be a time-consuming process to link the donors against their donations and hence trace the money trail. The Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] have also not declared the details of cheque and DD (cheque number, bank on which it was drawn and the date) for a total of 66 donations of Rs 78 lakhs and 31 donations of Rs 35.63 lakhs, respectively.

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