Vivek Punj

Donors love Bharatiya Janata Party. The Narendra Modi-led party received Rs 742.15 crore in donations above Rs 20,000 during the last financial year. This is 3.5 times higher than donations received by remaining national political parties in the same period put together.

An analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that total donations declared by national political parties for financial year 2018-19 was Rs 951.66 crore. The combined number of donations was 5,520. These donations almost doubled in comparison to Rs 481.77 crore reported in financial year 2017-18.

Political parties are required to declare donations above Rs 20,000 every financial year received by them from any source under provisions of The Representation of the People Act. The treasurer of every party has to present a report on political donations exceeding Rs 20,000.

The ADR study showed that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received 4,483 contributions amounting to more than Rs 20,000 during FY19, which totalled to Rs 742.15 crore. This is a significant uptick from Rs 437.04 crore that BJP declared as donations in FY18. Notably, the party returned to power in the Centre with a thumping victory after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Despite being a distant second, Congress fared comparatively well. The main opposition party declared 605 donations above Rs 20,000 in the last financial year. The amount came up to Rs 148.58 crore. The party received Rs 26.66 crore during financial year 2017-18.

Donations above Rs 20,000 declared by All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), National Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), and Communist Party of India (CPI) for FY 2018-19 amounted to Rs 44.26 crore, Rs 12.05 crore, Rs 3.02 crore and Rs 1.6 crore, respectively. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) declared that it did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 in FY19, as it has been declaring for the past 13 years.

"It is found that the total sum of donations declared by INC in its contributions report is incorrect. It is found that the total declared (Rs 146.78 crore) by the party is Rs 1.80 crore less than the actual amount (Rs 148.58 crore)," the ADR report further noted.

The report also stated that BJP did not declare the names of donors for 164 donations of Rs 2.34 crore in its contributions report for FY19. CPI (M) did not name one donor, who made a contribution of Rs 30,000.

Of the seven national parties, BJP, INC, CPI and CPI (M) did not declare PAN details of 1,300 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 29.44 crore. BJP failed to provide PAN details of 1,170 donors (Rs 27.24 crore), INC of 28 donors (Rs 92.80 lakh), CPI of 81 donors (Rs 1.17 crore) and 21 donations from CPI (M) of 21 donors (Rs 10.70 lakh). BJP, INC, and CPI (M) declared Rs 2.49 crore from 46 donations with incorrect PAN details.

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