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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received at least 76 percent of donations made through electoral trusts to political parties in 2019-20, an analysis by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in its report on June 23.
In all the BJP received Rs 276.45 cr (76.17 percent) from electoral trusts.
Thirteen other political parties, including the Congress (Rs 58 crore), the Aam Aadmi Party (11.2 Crore), the Samajwadi Party (Rs 2 crore), the Janata Dal United (Rs 1.25 crore), to name a few, collectively received a total of Rs 83.4652 crore or 23 percent of the total contributions from electoral trusts in the 2019-20 financial year, the report said.
The maximum donation of Rs 217.75 crore came from Prudent Electoral Trust followed by Jankalyan Electoral Trust which donated Rs 45.95 crore and AB General Electoral Trust which donated Rs 9 crore. The Prudent Electoral Trust is India’s largest electoral trust backed by Bharti Airtel Ltd, Abil Infra Projects Pvt Ltd, DLF Limited, among other corporates. The Jankalyan Electoral Trust is largely backed by JSW Energy Ltd.
JSW Steel Ltd. contributed the highest amount worth Rs 39.10 cr amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, in 19-20
Individually, JSW Steel Ltd contributed the highest amount worth Rs 39.10 crore amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by Apollo Tyres Ltd with Rs 30 crore and Delhi International Airport Ltd which contributed Rs 25 crore to various trusts.
The report said that of the 21 registered trusts, 14 submitted their annual reports to the Election Commission and seven declared that they had received funds that were then given to parties, the ADR report said.
“Those Electoral Trusts, which have not responded to and complied with the guidelines circulated by the ECI should be heavily penalized as indicated in the notification issued by the ECI to the Trusts. All Corporates should make details of their political contributions available in public domain through their websites for increasing transparency in political financing,” the ADR recommended.
According to the law, political funding in the country can be done anonymously for donations below Rs 20,000. Therefore, declared donations above this amount are taken as a representation of genuine corporate political funding.