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During the fiscal year 2022-23, an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed that electoral bonds accounted for nearly half of the total income of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The BJP reported an income of Rs 2,360.84 crore, with approximately 55% (Rs 1,294 crore) of it sourced from electoral bonds. Similarly, the AAP disclosed Rs 85.17 crore in donations through electoral bonds, constituting 53.364% of its total income. Notably, the AAP’s income surged by 91.23% from Rs 44.539 crore in FY22 to Rs 85.17 crore in FY23.

The analysis focused on the income and expenses of national parties across India during 2022-23, as outlined in their annual audit reports submitted to the Election Commission of India. Among the six national parties surveyed, they collectively amassed Rs 3,076 crore, with the BJP leading with over 75% of this amount, followed by the Congress with 15% (Rs 452.37 crore).

It’s worth mentioning that only the BJP, Congress, and AAP received funds through electoral bonds, which together constituted nearly half of the total income of all six parties. However, the Supreme Court recently invalidated the scheme, deeming it unconstitutional and infringing upon citizens’ right to information.

Out of the six parties analyzed, only the Congress and AAP exceeded their income in expenditures during the fiscal year. The Congress recorded a total income of Rs 452.37 crore, yet its expenses surpassed this at Rs 467.13 crore, resulting in a 3.26% overspend. Similarly, the AAP’s income of Rs 85.17 crore was outweighed by its expenditure of Rs 102.05 crore, indicating a deficit of 19.82%.

The report highlighted that the primary expenditure items for national parties in 2022-23 were election expenses and administrative/general expenses. Furthermore, it noted that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was the sole party to submit its audit report on time, while others experienced delays ranging from 5 to 72 days.

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