Source: 
Author: 
Date: 
18.01.2017
City: 
New Delhi

Regional parties declared receiving ₹107.62 crore as donations above ₹20,000 in 2015-16, with about 85 per cent (₹90.89 crore) of these coming from corporates and business houses and the rest from individuals.

Of the 21 regional parties considered, Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena declared getting the lion’s share of these donations at ₹86.16 crore, of which the highest amount of ₹85 crore came from Videocon Industries Ltd, while the rest came from ZAD Enterprises, Garware Charitable Trust, Sai Enterprises among others, as per an analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch of the contribution reports submitted by these regional parties to the Election Commission.

The second highest donation of ₹6.6 crore was declared by Aam Aadmi Party, of which the highest ₹1.11 crore came from one Ramesh Bellamkonda from Bangalore. Among AAP’s corporate donors are Forum Shopping Mall and Shree Ram Transport. Telugu Desam Party declared ₹3.10 crore as donations, the highest ₹1.1 crore was from Shrinivas Audikesavulu Dalavai.

Interestingly, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Naga People’s Front and Rashtriya Lok Dal declared receiving NIL donations during 2015-16.

However, overall there was a decrease of about 20 per cent in donations received by regional parties in 2015-16, compared with 2014-15 when donations of ₹134.86 crore had been declared, with only five parties reporting an increase. These are Shiv Sena, Assam-based All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Karnataka’s Janata Dal (Secular), and Tamil Nadu’s Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

The only regional parties that declared receiving cash donations are PMK (₹264.6 lakh), AAP (₹29.56 lakh), Shiv Sena (₹27.27 lakh), Indian Union Muslim League, Desiya Morpokku Dravida Kazhagam and AIUDF.

Bank transfers accounted for 83.77 per cent of the total donations to regional parties at ₹90.15 crore, while seven per cent of the donations (₹7.53 crore) was received by cheque, and only 3.08 per cent was by cash.

Calling for full transparency on donations received by political parties, ADR said details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the Right to Information, adding that some countries where this is done are Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan.

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