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Sep 24, 2012, 11.31 PM IST
The Congress may be India's richest political party, but when it comes to raking in donations, arch-rival Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) wins hands down.
The Congress may be India's richest political party, but when it comes to raking in donations, arch-rival Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) wins hands down. In the third part of our ongoing series Patrons Of Power, CNBC-TV18's Ashmit Kumar reports that as per the party's I-T returns, corporate India's team colour of choice seems to be saffron.
Rs 600 crore. That's how much the BJP earned between FY08 and FY10. The BJP may have lost out to the INC when it comes to votes and total revenues, but it consistently towers over the Congress when it comes to income from donations. In FY08, for instance, the BJP raked in four times more in donations than the Congress, and it's a lead that has rarely shortened.
Both the BJP and the Congress share some of the biggest contributors, especially industry-backed trusts. And in a few cases, some of these trusts have favoured the BJP over the Congress.
For instance, the General Electoral Trust, which is backed by the Aditya Birla Group , gave the BJP Rs 23 crore over the three years under purview, as opposed to Rs 15 crore donated to the Congress.
But, the BJP does not seem to have won the trust of all these trusts. The I-T returns filed by the Congress and the BJP show that some of the common donors like the Bharti Electoral Trust and the Harmony Electoral Trust have favoured the Congress over the BJP.
So the BJP has really scored big when it comes to individual corporate donors, even those shared with the Congress.
Torrent Power , which is the single largest individual corporate contributor to both the INC and the BJP, gave the BJP Rs 10 crore which is Rs 50 lakh more than it gave the Congress. Asianet TV Holdings' contribution of Rs 10 crore is four times its contribution to the Congress and consumer durables major, Videocon poured in Rs 6.2 crore to the BJP's kitty, making its Rs 2.25-crore donation to the INC seem paltry in comparison.
The BJP also has dedicated contributors like Dishman Pharma , M&M , and Hiranandani on its side. But the BJP has taken a backseat to the Congress when it comes to patronage from infrastructure companies - from L&T , Punj Lloyd , Vedanta, to HCC , the Adani Group and Crompton & Greaves - the BJP has received less than the INC. Even FMCG behemoth ITC favoured the Congress over the BJP.
Not surprisingly, the BJP has raked in more from states which have been its strongholds. But like the Congress, the BJP has also enjoyed considerable success in non-BJP states. So collections from the usual suspects - Gujarat, Chattisgarh, MP and HP- have been handsomely supplemented by states like UP, where the BJP has been craving power for years.
But in Maharashtra, the NCP-Congress combine is sitting pretty; in Delhi, the Congress' Sheila Dixit has reigned for nearly 15 years and West Bengal, Mamatadi's TMC and the Left have eclipsed every other political party.
In the next part of the series, CNBC-TV18 will find out from where the CPI and the CPI(M) draw their financial strength.
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