Saurav Mukherjee

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received the highest number of donations through electoral trusts in 2021-22, Hindustan Times quoted according to a report published by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report further said the BJP received funds to the tune of 351.50 crore or 72.17 per cent of the total donations made to political parties. It added, Congress lagged far behind as compared to parties such as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“BJP received 351.50 cr or 72.17% of the total donations received by all political parties from Electoral Trusts. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (now known as Bharat Rashtra Samiti) received 40.00 crore or 8.21% of the total donations from all parties from all six Electoral Trusts," HT quoted the report as saying.

As per details, electoral trusts are non-profit organisations formed for political parties to receive contributions from corporate entities and individuals in an orderly manner.

The trusts aim at improving transparency in the usage of funds for election-related expenses. ADR publishes annual reports on contributions through electoral trusts.

Apart from BJP, eight other parties, including the SP, AAP, YSR-Congress, Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Punjab Lok Congress Party, Goa Forward Party, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) received a total of 95.56 crore collectively, said the report.

The report added that the leading contributor to the BJP is the Prudent Electoral Trust which donated 336.50 crore, which is increase as compared to 209 crore contributed in FY 2020-21. While AB General Electoral Trust and Samaj Electoral Trust donated 10 crore and 5 crore, respectively, of their total income to the BJP in FY 2021-22.

The Congress obtained 18.44 crore from electoral trusts, while the Samajwadi Party gained 27 crore. The AAP and the YSR-Congress received donations of 21.12 crore and 20 crore, respectively, said the ADR report.

The Shiromani Akali Dal received 7 crore, while the Punjab Lok Congress Party obtained 1 crore. The Goa Forward Party and the DMK received 50 lakh each through electoral trusts.

In FY 2021-22, 62 corporates contributed 456.30 crore to Prudent Electoral Trusts, while two corporates provided 10 crore in donations to AB General Electoral Trust while three corporates contributed 5 crore to Samaj Electoral Trust.

Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India contributed the highest amount of 70 crore among all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed closely by an affiliated firm, Arcelor Mittal Design and Engg Centre Pvt Ltd at 60 crore. Telecom major Bharti Airtel Limited contributed 51 crore to several trusts.

Out of all political parties, the BJP received 212.05 crore or 82.05 per cent of the total donations from electoral trusts, as per ADR’s analysis of electoral funds in the past year showed.

In 2021-22, the BJP’s share of donations from corporations fell by nearly 10 per cent as compared to FY 2020-21; the funds it received have surged by nearly 130 crore.

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