New Delhi

The BJP received the lion’s share – Rs 705.81 crore – of Rs 956.77 crore that corporate houses donated to five national parties between 2012-13 and 2015-16, a report by a Delhi-based non-profit pushing for poll reforms said on Thursday.

The party, which swept to power in 2014, got money from 2,987 corporate donors followed by the Congress that received Rs 198.16 crore from 167 business houses, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

The Nationalist Congress Party received Rs 50.73 crore, Communist party of India (Marxist) Rs 1.89 crore and CPI Rs 0.18 crore, said the report based on submissions made by political parties to the election commission.

The bulk of BJP’s funds came from trusts and business houses dealing in real estate, mining, manufacturing, oil and power, construction, exports/imports among others.

The division of corporate donors along 14 sectors was done by ADR and didn’t form a part of the submission made to the poll panel.

There is a growing demand to make poll funding transparent in India to cleanse politics of money power for free and fair elections.

Business houses have been taking the electoral trusts route to make donations that allow companies to give money without appearing to favour one party over the other.

As the parties are not covered under the right to information, their disclosures to the election commission and income-tax returns offer a glimpse into their finances. Still a large chunk of donations are from unknown sources and are not disclosed.

The ADR report also shows that even when the BJP was not in power, most of the donors chose it over the Congress, a clear indication that they expected the party to win the Lok Sabha poll.

Also, 2012-13 was the time when the Congress-led UPA government was battling a string of corruption charges and was struggling to get the better of the Opposition in Parliament.

Donations peaked during 2014-15. Sixty per cent of the money received over the four years was during the election year.

In 2012-13, the BJP got 89% of the donations. As the poll dust settled, 2015-16 saw a sharp fall in funds but even then, the BJP was the pick of donors, cornering 87% of the money.

All national and regional parties are required to furnish with the election commission the details of donations above Rs 20,000.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party was not considered by the ADR after it declared it had not got more than Rs 20,000 from any donor during the period.

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