According to an analysis of corporate donations during 2016-18 by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), political parties received Rs 985.18 crore as corporate donations. The BJP with Rs 915.59 crore received 93 percent of total donations from 1731 corporate donors, while Congress got about 5.6% or Rs 55.36 crore from 151 corporate donors, followed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with Rs 7.7 crore from 23 such donors.

Corporate Donations To BJP & Congress 

In the past six years till 2017-18, when electoral bonds were not introduced for political fundings, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received donations of Rs 600 crores from a trust backed by a group of companies including DLF Ltd and the Bharti Enterprises Limited. The analytical report states that a trust called the Prudent Electoral Trust (earlier named as Satya Electoral Trust) has consistently topped the chart when it comes to donations to political parties since 2014.

During the year 2017-18, Prudent Electoral Trust donated a significantly higher share of donations of Rs 405.5 crore to the BJP as compared to only Rs 23.9 crores donation to the Congress. Earlier between 2013-14 and 2015-16, the trust donated Rs 193.62 crore to the BJP and Rs 57.25 crore to the Congress.

In the form of corporate donations, national parties have received the maximum corporate donations of Rs 573.18 cr in the FY 2014-15 (during which the Lok Sabha elections were held), followed by FY 2016-17 with Rs 563.19 cr and FY 2017-18 with Rs 421.99 cr.

According to ADR, corporate donations to national parties increased by 160 percent from the period 2004-12 to 2016-18.

Electoral Bonds

After electoral bonds became operational in January 2018, purchase of electoral bonds soared to the value of thousands of crores. Ahead of 2019 general elections, donors purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 5,800 crore until May 2019, reveal multiple RTI applications. 

The new rules state that for donations between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 crore, both the buyers and the recipients of the electoral bonds do not require to disclose the source of the money received, to the Election Commission.

Also Read: BJP Collected Over Rs 553 Cr As Donations From Unknown Sources In 2017-18, Says ADR Report

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