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04.02.2021
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The Congress party received donations worth Rs 139 crore in 2019-20, the year in which the Lok Sabha elections were held.

The contributions were down from Rs 146 crore that the party received a year ago, according to the details shared by the Congress party with the Election Commission (EC).

Among the list of 352 donations (excess of Rs 20,000) between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, Electoral Trusts remain the Congress party’s biggest donors. The Prudent Electoral Trust (backed by Bharti Airtel and DLF) donated Rs 30 crore while the Jankalyan Electoral Trust contributed Rs 25 crore. Electoral trusts get donations from corporate firms which are distributed among political parties.

Among corporate houses, the party has received Rs 20 crore from ITC group and its subsidiary companies. While the ITC donated nearly 13 crore, its subsidiary firms ITC Infotech contributed Rs 4 crore and Russel Credit Limited, another ITC subsidiary, donated Rs 1.4 crore to the grand old party.

The other corporate houses that donated to the Congress in 2019-19 are HEG limited (Rs 3.5 crore), Gwalior Alcobrew (Rs 5 crore) and BG Shirke construction (Rs 4 crore).

Congress leader Kapil Sibal, one among the 23 leaders who wrote the letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi last year seeking overhaul in party leadership, has contributed Rs 3 crore, thus becoming the biggest individual donor to the Congress. Other leaders including Raj Babbar, Kumari Selja and Ripun Bora donated around Rs 1 lakh each to the party.

Former PM Manmohan Singh has contributed Rs 54,000, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has donated Rs 50,000 and senior leader Rahul Gandhi has contributed Rs 54,000 to the party.

All political parties are mandated to declare the donation details of more than Rs 20,000 made to them by individuals, companies and trusts.

As of now, the EC has shared the donation details of the Congress, the NCP and the BSP. Reports submitted by the BJP, the TMC, the CPI and the CPM for the year 2019-20 have not been shared yet.

The BJP has been the biggest beneficiary of donations in the last few years. The ruling party received around 80 percent of donations received by all parties in 2018-19, according to an analysis by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The NCP received Rs 59.9 crore, and the BSP has said it has not received any donation above Rs 20,000 in the year.

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