The Times of India
Madan Kumar

Bihar ruling JD(U) received the highest donation total Rs 60.15 crore among the country’s 54 regional parties in the financial year 2020-21, followed by Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin’s DMK (Rs 33.99 crore) and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (Rs 11.32 crore). 

As per a report, prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) declared total donations Rs 4.16 crore and Rs 4.15 crore, respectively. 

Around 91.38% or Rs 113.79 crore of the total donations received by regional parties were received solely by the above five regional parties. 

An analysis of the donations received by regional political parties also revealed that the total amount of donations declared by 27 regional parties analysed, including both above and below Rs 20,000, was Rs 124.53 crore from 3,051 donations. 

No donations were declared by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLTP) for FY 2020-21, the ADR report said. 

The ADR report mainly focuses on the donations declared by regional political parties, during the financial year 2020-21, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI). 

Under Section 29C (1) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, political parties are required to prepare a report providing details of contributions in excess of Rs 20,000 from any person in a particular financial year to avail 100% tax exemption. However, in FY 2020-21, three regional parties (the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) and the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), also provided the details of donations received below Rs 20,000 in their contribution reports. 

“Out of 54 regional parties analyzed, only six had submitted their donations reports to the ECI in the stipulated time period. 25 other regional parties delayed their submission by a minimum of 3 days to 164 days,” the report said. 

The donation reports of Bihar’s other regional parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP, now merged into the JDU) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) were not available on the ECI’s website, the ADR said. 

The report also revealed that altogether 207 donations from corporate/ business sectors amounting to Rs 95.45 crore were made to the regional parties, while 2,569 individual donors donated Rs 25.57 crore to the parties during FY 2020-21. 

With the maximum number of donations during FY 2020-21, JD(U) declared 58 donations from corporate/business sectors amounting to Rs 59.24 crore while 272 individual donors donated Rs 90.60 lakh to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s party. 

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