The Times of India
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Industrialist Aditya Birla, who came under investigation by the CBI in the coal allocation case, was the largest contributor to BJP donating Rs 7.50 crore through his General Electoral Trust in 2012-2013. The Trust had donated Rs 26.6 crore to the BJP between 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.

Incidentally, Birla's name came up for investigation during the last months of the UPA regime. The Birla group did not make any contribution to Congress in the last financial year after being its top donor with a donation of Rs 36.4 crore between 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.

The Tata group — that was the fourth largest contributor for Congress donating Rs 10 crore and fifth for BJP with a contribution of Rs 6.9 crore between 2004-2012-- did not figure in the top 20 contributors for either party last year. Vedanta group that operates the Public and Political Awareness Trust contributed Rs 10 crore to Congress between 2004-2012 but shied away from donations to the party in 2012-2013. It gave Rs 6.9 crore to BJP in the last 7 years and Rs 5 crore in this fiscal year.

Mumbai-based Lodha Dwellers Pvt ltd and Ahmedabad-based Torrent Power were the other top donors to the saffron party during 2012-2013 according to advocacy group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that analyzed income and expenditure statements submitted by six national political parties for 2012-2013 to the Election Commission.

While Lodha Dwellers contributed Rs 6.99 crore, Torrent Power gave Rs 6.57 crore to the BJP. Torrent Power continued its trend of donating to both party coffers as it had done in previous years. It was only slightly less generous to Congress donating Rs 3.50 crore followed by Torrent Pharmaceuticals (Rs 1.50 crore) and Hyderabad Industries who donated Rs 50 lakh. Torrent had contributed Rs 11.9 crore to Congress and Rs 13 crore to BJP in fiscal 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.

Six national political parties including Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM earned a total income of Rs 991.20 crore in financial year 2012-2013 of which only 10% were above Rs 20,000.

Political parties are required to submit details of donations received above Rs 20,000 from all over India, to the Election Commission, annually. Parties must provide details of the name, address, PAN, mode of payment and amount contributed by each donor who has made donation above Rs 20,000. ADR report said that details of 703 donors were not declared in the donations statement, who had contributed a total of Rs 11.14 crores to the national parties. BSP, for instance, declared that the party received no donations above Rs 20,000 last year as it had declared since 2004-05.

Congress received the highest contribution with Rs 425.69 crore followed by BJP with Rs 324.16 crore. CPM declared a total income of Rs 126.09 crore followed by BSP (Rs 87.63 crore). NCP said their income last year was Rs 25.56 crore followed by CPI's Rs 1.07 crore.

Corporate sector topped the list of contributions with 72% or Rs 70.97 crore to the national parties followed by individual donations with 17% or Rs 17.01 crore.

While Congress' earnings came from sale of coupons (73%) of its total income, BJP's income was from voluntary contributions which constituted 83%.

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