Arun Kumar Das

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the biggest recipient of corporate donations from Gujarat between 2017 and 2021, exceeding the Congress by 16 times, according to the report of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report stated that four political parties — BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) — received corporate donations worth Rs 174.06 crore from 1,571 donors from Gujarat between Financial Year (FY) 2016-17 and 2020-21.

During this five-year period, the BJP was the biggest recipient of corporate donations, amounting to Rs 163.54 crore from 1,519 donors, the report said.

The Congress, on the other hand, got a mere Rs 10.46 crore during the period.

The BJP was also the biggest recipient of corporate donations in FY 2018-19, worth Rs 46.22 crore from 524 donations, nearly 18 times more than the Congress's Rs 2.61 crore.

The data analysed in this report looks at the total income and donations received by the various recognised political parties (whose reports were available) during FY 2016-17 to FY 2020-21.

Additionally, the funds received by these political parties from donors in Gujarat via electoral trusts, electoral bonds and from corporate houses in the state have also been analysed.

The objective is to understand what proportion of political funding to major political parties came from Gujarat and its relevance for the upcoming polls.

While a comparison can be made for national parties’ data over the five years, however, the same cannot be done for regional parties given the non-availability of reports of the same parties each year.

The total income declared by national and regional political parties whose annual reports were available on the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s website is Rs 16,071.60 crore.

According to the ADR report, 79.91 per cent or Rs 12,842.28 crore of the total income in the five years is declared by eight national parties, while the remaining Rs 3,229.32 crore (20.09 per cent) was declared by regional parties.

Maximum funds were received by national parties in FY 2019-20 (the year of Lok Sabha elections) amounting to Rs 4,760.09 crore, while regional parties received the highest income of Rs 1,089.422 crore in FY 2018-19.

Of the total corporate donations (Rs 4,014.58 crore) received by political parties in the five-year period, 4.34 per cent or Rs 174.06 crore worth corporate donations came from Gujarat — this is based on the data analysed from the contribution reports submitted by the political parties to the ECI.

In the five-year period analysed, political parties received a total of Rs 74.27 crore from Prudent Electoral Trust that received contributions from companies based in Gujarat.

Between FY 2016-17 and 2020-21, six Gujarat-based companies made donations to political parties via Prudent Electoral Trust namely, Torrent Power Limited, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited, Cadila Healthcare Limited, Essar Bulk Terminal Paradip Limited and Act Infraport Ltd.

The highest contributions amounting to Rs 30.50 crore were received from Torrent Power Limited spread over 6 donations between FY 2016-17 and FY 2020-21.

Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. made five donations worth Rs 20.50 crore via Prudent Electoral Trust to political parties during the five-year period.

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