Source: 
News18
https://www.news18.com/politics/electoral-bonds-account-for-50-of-total-declared-income-of-bjp-aap-in-2022-23-shows-adr-report-8797039.html
Author: 
Nivedita Singh
Date: 
29.02.2024
City: 
New Delhi

According to the report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the six national parties – BJP, Congress, AAP, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and National People’s Party – have earned Rs 3,076 crore collectively. The Bharatiya Janata Party bagged more than 75% (Rs 2,360.84 crore) of this amount while the Congress was the second biggest recipient with 15% (Rs 452.37 crore).

Almost half of the total income in 2022-23 of Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is in power in Delhi and Punjab, was sourced from now-banned electoral bonds, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

However, it is also important to note that the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has declared Rs 45.45 crore in donations through ‘others’ – Electoral Bond/Electoral Trust – without specifying the amount from these sources individually. The party earned Rs 85.17 crore during 2022-23 and money from Electoral Bond/Electoral Trust accounted for 53.364% of the total income.

For the BJP, which earned Rs 2,360.84 crore during 2022-23, income from electoral bonds stood at nearly 55% – Rs 1,294 crore.

The ADR report analysed the total income and expenditure incurred all over India by national parties during 2022-23, as declared by the parties in their annual audit report submitted to the Election Commission of India.

The six national parties – BJP, Congress, AAP, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and National People’s Party – have earned Rs 3,076 crore collectively. The Bharatiya Janata Party bagged more than 75% of this amount while the Congress was the second biggest recipient with 15% (Rs 452.37 crore).

Only three national parties – BJP, Congress, and AAP – received funds through electoral bonds and their collective collection accounted for almost half of the total income of all the six parties. With the Congress receiving Rs 171.02 crore through these bonds, the income of the three parties from the source stood at Rs 1,510.61 crore.

Introduced in 2018, electoral bonds allowed citizens to donate to political parties anonymously — i.e., the identity of the donor was not disclosed to the public.

The Supreme Court this month struck down the scheme, saying anonymous electoral bonds violated citizens’ right to information. Calling these bonds “unconstitutional”, the top court also said, “Infringement of the voter’s right to know is not proportionally justified by saying black money is being curbed.”

EXPENDITURE OF CONGRESS, AAP EXCEEDS INCOME

Among the six parties, only the Congress and AAP spent more than their income during the financial year. As per the report, Congress’s total income was Rs 452.37 crore while it spent Rs 467.13 crore – 3.26% more than it earned during 2022-23.

News18 reported this month that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Tamil Nadu on September 7, 2022, and ended in Jammu and Kashmir on January 30, 2023, cost the Congress about Rs 50 lakh per day. In terms of the distance of the journey, the grand old party spent Rs 1.59 lakh per kilometre on average, as per Congress documents. Counted under ‘Administrative and General Expenses’, the party said it spent Rs 71.83 crore on the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“AAP’s total income was Rs 85.17 crore while the party spent Rs 102.05 crore. The party’s expenditure for that year exceeds its total income by 19.82%,” the report added.

On the other hand, the BJP declared a total income of Rs 2,360.84 crore and spent only 57.68% (Rs 1361.68 crore) of this. The CPI(M), which earned Rs 141.66 crore, spent Rs 106.06 crore, or 74.87% of its income.

“NPEP declared a total income of Rs 7.5 crore during FY 2022-23, and spent Rs 6.932 cr (91.67%) of it,” the report added.

The report observed that the most common and popular items of expenditure for national parties for FY 2022-23 were election expenses and administrative/general expenses.

CPI(M) ONLY PARTY TO SUBMIT AUDIT REPORT ON TIME

The due date for submission of the annual audited accounts for the parties was October 31, 2023.

“Only CPI(M) submitted its audit report on time while AAP, BSP, NPEP, INC and BJP submitted after a delay of 5 days, 23 days, 27 days, 64 days and 72 days respectively,” the report said.

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