The Wire
The Wire Staff
New Delhi

The proportion of income from unknown sources for the previous year was about 50%.

More than 75% of the income of 27 regional political parties of India in FY 2021-22, amounting to Rs, 887.55 crore, came from unknown sources says an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The proportion of income from unknown sources for the previous year was about 50%.

The unknown sources, according to the ADR, are income declared in the Annual Audit reports but without giving the source of income for donations below Rs 20,000. Such unknown sources include ‘Donations via Electoral Bonds’, ‘sale of coupons’, ‘relief fund’, ‘miscellaneous income’, ‘voluntary contributions’, ‘contribution from meetings/ morchas’ etc. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain.

The political parties are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000. As a result, a substantial amount of funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources, the ADR analysis said. 

The known sources are defined as donations above and below Rs 20,000, whose donor details are available through contribution reports as submitted by regional parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The total income of the regional parties stood at Rs 1165.576 crore for FY 2021-22, of which, only Rs 145.42 crore (12%) came from known sources. 

Donations via electoral bonds contributed Rs 827.76 cr, or 93.26%, to the income from unknown sources. The income from the sale of coupons formed 4.32% (Rs 38.354 crore) and voluntary contributions (below Rs 20,000) formed 2.40% (Rs 21.293 crore) in income from unknown sources.

The ADR analysis was based on the annual audit and contribution reports of the parties submitted to the ECI. Initially, the researchers wanted to analyse 54 recognised regional parties but only 27 had submitted both these reports. 

Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, the DMK, got the highest share of income – 96.01% – from unknown sources, among all the parties analysed. Other regional parties that declared the highest income from unknown sources include DMK (Rs 306.025 crore), BJD (Rs 291.096 crore), TRS (Rs 153.037 crore), YSR-Congress (Rs 60.0168 crore) and JDU (Rs 48.3617 crore).

The sources of income for the top 10 parties are given below:

The annual audit and contribution reports of AAP are available on the website, but the party’s donation declarations show discrepancies between data in both reports for FY 2021-22. Therefore, this party has not been analysed in this report, the ADR said.

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