National parties in India have acquired 11,234 crore in donation from unknown sources from 2004-05 to 2018-19, as per the election watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Media reports said that ADR analysed the data formulated by the Election Commission of India on the net worth of seven national parties that include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Communist Party of India.

ADR stated in its report: “Between FY 2004-05 and 2018-19, the national parties have collected 11,234.12 crore from unknown sources.”

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The income from the unknown sources refers to the funds declared in the income tax returns without mentioning the name of the donor below 20,000, according to media reports.

The unknown sources include the donation from electoral bonds, sale of coupons, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions, relief fund and contribution from meetings. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain.

Parties and income

The ADR mentioned that in 2018-19, the BJP declared 1,612.04 crore as income from unknown sources that accounts for 64 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources (2,512.98 crores).

This is 1.5 times more than the aggregate income from unknown sources declared by the other five national parties (900.94 crores), it further added.

According to the watchdog, Congress declared 728.88 crores as income from unknown sources which is 29 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.

ADR added that the combined income of Congress and NCP from the sale of coupons between FY 2004-05 and 2018-19 stands at 3,902.63 crores.

The BSP, however, maintained that it did not receive any funds from unknown sources of income (above or below 20,000), as per media reports.

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