Source: 
The Economic Times
Author: 
Date: 
27.05.2022
City: 

Five regional parties including the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu and the ruling YSR-Congress in Andhra Pradesh received four-fifths of the incomes by way of political donations in 2020-21, according to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a nonprofit.

Thirty-one regional parties, whose filings with the Election Commission were analysed, had got an income of about Rs 530 crore during 2020-21. The DMK reported the highest income of about Rs 150 crore followed by the YSR-Congress (Rs 108 crore) and BJD (Rs 73 crore)

Of these 31 regional parties, the ADR analysed the data of 29 parties which had made their data available for both 2019-20 and 2020-21. While 10 parties reported an increase in their income from 2019-20, 19 parties reported a decline.

The total income of 29 parties during 2019-20 was about Rs 800 crore in 2019-20, but it later fell by about Rs 280 crore in the following year.

Between the two years, the DMK reported the highest increase in income followed by the JD(U) and YSR-Congress.

For the year 2020-21, 17 parties ended the year with a part of the income left unspent, while 14 parties spent more than their income during the year. The YSR-Congress and BJD reported that 90% plus of their income left unspent in 2020-21.

The DMK, AIADMK, TDP, JDS, CPI(ML)(L), PMK, SKM, JMM, RLD, AGP, ZNP, NPF, SDF and JKPDP declared spending more than their income in 2020-21. The TDP disclosed spending about Rs 51 crore more than its income, the highest among the regional parties.

Because of the anonymity it provides, electoral bonds have emerged as the most popular mode of donations to regional parties in 2020-21. About half of the income of the 31 regional parties came via donations through electoral bonds.

The most common and popular items of expenditure for regional parties were election expenses, general propaganda, and administrative and general expenses.

For the year 2019-20, 62% of the income of seven national parties came from donations through the electoral bonds (Rs 2993 crore), where the identity of the donor is not disclosed to the public.

In response to ADR’s RTI query, electoral bonds worth about Rs 1020 crore were redeemed by the political parties in 2020-21. Five regional parties YSR-Congress, DMK, BJD, AAP and JD(U) Rs declared receiving about Rs 250 crore in donations through electoral bonds.

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