JS News-Times

There is no doubt about the fact that elections in India cost a lot. In view of the expenses incurred in the elections, India also leaves behind the expenditure incurred in the general elections of countries like America. According to an estimate, Rs 60,000 crore was spent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Where does all this money come from? According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), more than 66 per cent of the total income of the seven national parties in 2021-22 came from electoral bonds and unknown sources.

Seven parties – BJP, Congress, TMC, NCP, CPI, CPI(M) and National People’s Party – accounted for 66.04 per cent of their income from unknown sources. Quoting official data, NGO ADR, which works for electoral reforms, said that seven national parties collected Rs 2,172 crore from unknown sources in 2021-22. Of the income from unknown sources, 83.41 per cent (Rs 1,811.94 crore) came from electoral bonds. An analysis of income tax returns and donation statements filed with the Election Commission of India (ECI) reveals that the sources of income of these parties are largely unknown.

What is an unknown income source?

According to the ADR, an undisclosed source is income declared by political parties in their annual audit reports without specifying the source of income. Undisclosed sources include electoral bonds, sale of coupons, relief funds, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions and contributions from meetings. At present, political parties are not required to disclose the names of individuals or organizations giving less than Rs 20,000 and those who donate through electoral bonds. As a result, more than 66 per cent of the funds cannot be traced.

party wise figures

According to the ADR report, the BJP declared an income of Rs 1,161 crore from unknown sources in 2021-22, which is 53.45 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources. The income of the BJP is Rs 149.86 crore more than the total income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties. TMC declared an income of Rs 528 crore from unknown sources, which is 24.31 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources. The ADR said the combined income of the Congress and the NCP from the sale of coupons between 2004-05 and 2021-22 is Rs 4,398.51 crore.

It is to be noted that as per the audit report, TMC’s total donations are Rs 38 lakh (excluding donations through electoral bonds), but the party has declared donations of Rs 43 lakh in the donation details (details of donations above Rs 20,000). Donation announced. This is different from the party’s statement for the financial year 2021-22, the ADR report said. The CPI has announced donations through levies, membership fees, party funds and election funds.

BSP did not get funds from unknown sources?

ADR said that eight national parties were considered for this analysis but the BSP declared that it did not receive any funds from voluntary contributions from unknown sources of income. The total income of eight national parties in 2021-22 was Rs 3,289.34 crore. The total income of these political parties from known sources was Rs 780.8 crore, which is 23.74% of the total income of the parties. The total income of these parties from other known sources in 2021-22 was Rs 336.3 crore or 10.22% of the total income.

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