Indian Express
Express News Service
New Delhi

The total donations to the BJP were over 2.5 times of what went to the other nine parties in the report.

The BJP received Rs 351.50 crore or 72.17 per cent of the total donations made to political parties by Electoral Trusts in 2021-’22, while the Congress received less than the TRS, Samajwadi Party, AAP and the YSR Congress, according to data released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Thursday .

An electoral trust is a non-profit organisation formed in India for orderly receiving of contributions to political parties from corporate entities and individuals.

It aims at improving transparency in the usage of funds for election-related expenses.

The BJP received nineteen times more donations than the Congress in 2021-’22 from electoral trusts, the ADR data showed. The total donations to the BJP were over 2.5 times of what went to the other nine parties in the report.

The ADR, in its analysis of electoral trusts, said Rs 351.50 crore or 72.17 per cent of the total donations received by all political parties in 2021-’22 went to the BJP.

It added that the Congress received Rs 18.44 crore from electoral trusts, while the TRS received Rs 40 crore, the Samajwadi Party Rs 27 crore, the Aam Aadmi Party Rs 21.12 crore and the YSR Congress Rs 20 crore.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) received Rs 7 crore, the Punjab Lok Congress Party Rs 1 crore, the Goa Forward Party and the DMK Rs 50 lakh each through electoral trusts, the report said.

Electoral trusts have received a total amount of Rs 487.09 crore from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs 487.06 crore (99.99 per cent) to various political parties, the ADR said.

Eighty-nine corporate/business houses contributed Rs 475.80 crore to electoral trusts during the period. Sixty-two of them contributed Rs 456.30 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust, two corporates contributed Rs 10.00 crore to AB General Electoral Trust, three corporates contributed Rs 5 crore to Samaj Electoral Trust and 15 corporates contributed Rs 2.20 crore to Independent Electoral Trust.

The ADR said 40 individuals have contributed to electoral trusts in FY 2021-’22, 13 individuals contributed Rs 8.53 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust, 15 individuals contributed Rs 2.61 crore to Independent Electoral Trust and 12 individuals gave a total of Rs 14.34 lakh to Small Donation Electoral Trust.

Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India Ltd contributed the highest amount — Rs 70.00 crore — amongst all donors of the electoral trusts, followed by ArcelorMittal Design & Engineering Centre Pvt Ltd with Rs 60 crore and Bharti Airtel Limited which contributed Rs 51 crore to various trusts, the report said.

As per a report by The Indian Express in November, the BJP received over 54% or Rs 336.5 crore of its declared contributions in 2021-2022 from one electoral trust, the Prudent Electoral Trust, which in turn, got its funds from Arcelor Mittal, Bharti Airtel, Serum Institute of India, Jindal Steel and TVS Motors, to name a few.

According to the party’s contribution report, which covers all donations over Rs 20,000 each, the BJP got Rs 614.52 crore in contributions from individuals, businesses and electoral trusts. The amount, however, does not include other sources of income for the party, including electoral bonds.

In September, the ECI had proposed reducing the limit of declarable contributions from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000 each. The EC had written to the law ministry proposing amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which mandates that political parties must prepare a report on all donations over Rs 20,000 in each financial year.

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