The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is the first party that has declared the name of the entity which made donations to it through electoral bonds, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a poll rights group, said. A declaration of a ₹1 crore donation was made in the party’s 2019-20 contribution report, it added.

According to the contribution report of the ruling party in Jharkhand, the donation was made by aluminium and copper manufacturing company Hindalco.

In a new report, the association said the most common and popular source of income for national and regional political parties in 2019-20 were donations through electoral bonds.

“Given the anonymity provided to donors by the scheme, electoral bonds have emerged as the most popular channel of donations to parties in the last two years,” the ADR report said.

“It is to be noted that the JMM party has declared the name of the donor who donated ₹1 crore through electoral bonds in its contribution report for FY [financial year] 2019-20, however, this income through electoral bonds has not been declared by the party in its audit report for FY 2019-20,” it said.

This raises the question as to whether political parties are aware of the identity of the donors who have contributions through electoral bonds, as can be seen in this case, the report added.

Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

The report said more than 50% of the total income — ₹312.37 crore — of 19 political parties, analysed for the 2019-20 fiscal, was received from donations through electoral bonds. The identity of the donors are not disclosed to the public.

Electoral bonds worth ₹3,429.56 crore were redeemed by parties in 2019-20, indicating that the remaining ₹3,117.19 crore, or approximately 91% worth of electoral bonds, were encashed by parties whose audit reports are yet to be available on the Election Commission’s website, it said.

The total income declared by the two national and 17 regional parties for 2019-20 was ₹619.28 crore.

The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) reported having the highest income of ₹143.676 crore, which forms 23.20% of the total income of all the parties analysed, followed by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with an income of ₹91.53 crore or 14.78% and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with an income of ₹90.35 crore or 14.59%, the report said.

The total income of the top three parties was ₹325.556 crore, which comprised 52.57% of the total income of political parties analysed collectively in this report, it added.

Out of the 19 political parties analysed, nine parties have shown an increase in their income, from the 2018-19 fiscal to 2019-20, while 10 parties have shown a decline in their income during this period, the report said.

The total income of the 19 parties decreased from ₹772.14 crore in 2018-19 to ₹619.28 crore in 2019-20, a decrease of 19.80% or ₹152.86 crore.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) reported the highest increase in its income of ₹61.506 crore, followed by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which declared a total increase of ₹38.557 crore and ₹11.59 crore respectively, between 2018-19 and 2019-20, it said.

The BJD reported the highest decrease in its income of ₹158.96 crore, followed by the AITC and the TDP, which declared a total decrease of ₹48.974 crore and ₹23.43 crore respectively, between 2018-19 and 2019-20.

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